Aeroelastic Simulation of N+3 Aircraft

Student : Ryan Kitson

Sponsor : NASA


Very flexible high altitude and long endurance (HALE) aircraft have been proposed for improved intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and communications. Commercial transports are also moving towards lightweight flexible structures to reap the efficiency benefits of high aspect ratio wings and increased lift-to-drag ratios. Future concepts such as the MIT D8 and Boeing SUGAR Volt make use of a flexible wing structure to reduce fuel burn, NOx emissions, and noise.

The goal of this work is to analyze these future concepts in the University of Michigan Nonlinear Aeroelastic Simulation Toolbox (UM/NAST), which supports the development work at NASA and further develops the capabilities of UM/NAST to analyze transonic and truss-braced wing aircraft.

Fig. 1: N+3 High L/D “SUGAR High” Model Artist Representation (source – NASA)
Fig. 2: “SUGAR High” Model Representation in UM/NAST