Optimal wingtip device design for transport airplane

Bento Silva de Mattos (Department of Aircraft Design, Instituto Tecnologico de Aeronáutica)

CHALLENGE - The present work aims to analyze the feasibility of wingtip device incorporation into transport airplane configurations considering many aspects such as performance, cost and environmental impact. A design framework encompassing optimization for wing-body configurations with and without winglets is described and application examples are presented and discussed.

SOLUTION - modeFRONTIER, a multi-objective optimization design framework, was used to perform optimization tasks of configurations with wingtip devices. A full potential code with viscous effects correction was used to calculate the aerodynamic characteristics of the fuselage–wing–winglet configuration. MATLAB was also used to perform some computations and was easily integrated into the modeFRONTIER frameworks. CFD analyses of transport airplanes configurations were also performed with Fluent and CFD++ codes.


BENEFITS - Winglet provides considerable aerodynamic benefits regarding similar wings without winglets. Drag coefficient reduction in the order of 15 drag counts was achieved in the cruise condition. Winglet also provides a small boost in the clean-wing maximum lift coefficient. In addition, less fuel burn means fewer emissions and contributes toward preserving the environment.