The University of Southampton
Engineering and the Environment

Research project: Influence of Aerodynamic Models on Flight Simulation

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Good estimates of stability and control characteristics are obtained for conventional aircraft by semi-empirical or linearized methods. For aircraft operating at extreme flow conditions, or revolutionary vehicle concepts, the use of these methods is suspect because limited to a database of information related to existing aircraft. The proposed project will investigate the impact of a hierarchy of aerodynamic models on flight simulation and will provide indications on the most suitable theoretical/numerical tools for the design of next-generation aircraft.

Project Overview

Flow around the TCR wind tunnel model at α=18.0 deg and M=0.12 computed using the PMB code (k-ω turbulence model)
TCR wind tunnel model

The work will be developed around the CEASIOM software, which is a very extensive package for aircraft conceptual design. The objective of this project is to integrate, develop, and validate the aerodynamic module which is the core of the entire software. The aerodynamic module generates aerodynamic data for flight simulation analyses, and allows structural flexibility effects to be evaluated. In aircraft design, the geometry often changes because unwanted characteristics are discovered or to improve an existing design and the ability to treat complex geometries in an efficient way is key to this work. A tight integration between the geometry and aerodynamic modules is thus vital.

Surface pressure coefficient distribution of the Ranger 2000 aircraft at α=6.0 deg and M=0.8 computed using the PMB code (Euler solution)
Surface pressure coefficient

Tables of aerodynamic forces and moments are used in flight dynamics analysis. These tables can be derived from difference sources, including analytical/numerical methods, wind tunnel tests, and flight tests. Whereas the proposed work will use mainly simulation tools, the cost of table generation still remains prohibitively expensive because a large number of flight conditions should be assessed. To drastically reduce the cost, we will exploit sampling methods based on Kriging interpolation.

Related research groups

Aerodynamics and Flight Mechanics
Asymmetric aircraft configuration
Wind-tunnel testings of the TCR model in TsAGI (Russia)
Wind-tunnel testings


Key Publications


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