Mitch Wolff (Advisor), Rory Roberts (Committee Member), James Menart (Committee Member)
Master of Science in Aerospace Systems Engineering (MSASE)
The current aircraft design has not changed significantly in the last few decades. Growing environmental concerns and fuel prices are driving manufacturers to develop unconventional but efficient aircraft configurations. The blended wing body (BWB) configuration provides an alternate and more efficient means of subsonic travel. The BWB aircraft replaces the traditional wings and fuselage with hybrid wing shape where the fuselage and wings have integrated. Major aircraft manufacturers are researching the BWB concept incorporating electric propulsion for civil transport use. In this research a 300 passenger BWB aircraft aerodynamic shape is designed. This aircraft is used to assess the aerodynamic efficiency of the BWB design over a conventional tube aircraft design. The study utilizes Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) tools to analyze the fluid flow at different angles of attack for the BWB geometry. A conceptual BWB aircraft was designed using the parameters of a conventional aircraft configuration. During the design, the compatibility of the BWB aircraft with the current airports was also considered. The 3D Computer Aided Design (CAD) software SolidWorks was used to create the BWB design. ANSYS Fluent was used to perform the computational aerodynamic analysis. Aerodynamic flow parameters were investigated to determine the feasibility of a BWB aircraft for commercial flight.
Department or Program
Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering
Year Degree Awarded
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