By Andras Sobester, Alexander I J Forrester
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Extra resources for Aircraft Aerodynamic. Design Geometry and Optimization
Also, this geometry now has a blemish: the cusp between the two lobes is nowhere near the cabin floor level – this is likely to be a structurally inefficient solution. We thus reran the search process with the same geometry model, the same objective and the same optimizers, but we have added another hard constraint: the cusp has to line up with the floor beam. 10, is a neater-looking design, but a slightly greater cross-section area. Postscript The key message of the example above is that the dimensionality of a parametric geometry (and thus its flexibility) has a powerful impact on the associated optimization process; and because the effective optimization of some measure of merit linked to the geometry is practically the only reason why one would build a parametric geometry,9 this is a very important conclusion.
2. Geometry Parameterization: Philosophy and Practice 13 is. It is therefore not correct to refer to the ‘optimization of (the variables defining) an aircraft for endurance’ – the correct phraseology is ‘optimization of the endurance of the aircraft’. In some cases the identities of the objective and the variables may be obvious, in others, painstakingly correct terminology may be the only way of avoiding misunderstandings. In that spirit, here is some more inevitable punctiliousness in the shape of a checklist the designer should apply to a chosen set of design variables before unleashing an optimization algorithm on the resulting problem.
We exemplified the above idea in this chapter through the problem of fuselage modelling. We showed that we can start with 2D sketches and move into the third dimension by introducing a series of functions of a streamwise variable (x is an obvious choice) that describe the shape and positioning of the parametric cross-sections, over which we can then loft a surface (in fact, if these streamwise functions yield a value for any X, they define the ‘loft’ too), as well as a profile section that determines the scaling and positioning of the support curves of the loft.