Environment-friendly aircraft stretches its wings with modeFRONTIER
In an ambitious collaborative venture, Alenia Aermacchi is heading the Green Regional Aircraft (GRA) design team of the The Clean Sky Joint Technology Initiative, committed to developing environmentally friendly aircraft. Domestic air travel of the future will meet demands for: weight reduction, aerodynamic efficiency, high level operative performance, compliance with emission standards, and respect of noise limits.
modeFRONTIER has proved to help effectively the design team in identifying feasible solutions.
Targeting multiple objectives such as lowering aircraft drag, wing weight, and environmental impact of lower speed conditions (i.e. take-off and landing), enhances the overall environmental performance measured by fuel consumption and noise generation. Seeking the most promising solution for this new generation aircraft, two wing shapes were studied using modeFRONTIER optimization. A “thin” configuration was selected to analyze aerodynamic performance, without any structural restrictions to airfoil thickness; another “thick” configuration was chosen to pursue weight reduction of the wing.
modeFRONTIER integrated complex objectives, achieving remarkable enhancement for both wing configurations, while still complying with Top Level Aircraft Requirements (TLAR). The design automation process piloted by modeFRONTIER workflow enabled 20.000 design profiles of the 2D wing shape, while incorporating aerodynamic and structural analysis using Alenia in-house codes. Once the optimal 2D profile was selected, CFD computations were validated employing a proper parametric Catia 3D wing-body. Good aerodynamic results were maintained in the 3D analysis.
“modeFRONTIER has proved to help effectively the design team in identifying feasible solutions and achieving a 2.5% enhancement of aerodynamic performance and a 4% wing weight reduction”, says Enrica Marentino, CFD Specialist at Alenia Aermacchi. modeFRONTIER successfully streamlined the two-step optimization process for wing shape configuration and its multi-objective genetic algorithm (MOGA-II) has been profitably used to solve the optimization problem. Correlations among the aerodynamic parameters where explored thanks to modeFRONTIER statistical tools, providing deep insights which helped to effectively set up the optimization strategy. The MCDM tool provided a useful framework in attaining a ranking for the Pareto front solutions, supporting the design team in determining the best outcome. “The optimized configurations, while still matching TLAR requirements, determined substantial advantages comparing to the initial wing profiles”, says Enrica Marentino.
The optimized configurations, while still matching TLAR requirements, determined substantial advantages comparing to the initial wing profiles.