Preliminary Design of a Light Sport Aircraft with Emphasis on Wind Tunnel Tests

Votes: 5
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This project is focused on the design and aerodynamic improvement of a light sport aircraft (LSA).

At the start of the project a market research and analysis study has been made, based on the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) study, showing that 20-25% of light weight sport aircrafts are currently produced using reciprocating engines and within a few years this ratio could increase between 33% to 50%. A preliminary and conceptual design was done for a new lightweight, low-cost, low fuel consumption and long-range aircraft. The design of the concept airplane meets with CS-LSA requirements. The design process is based on software tools like Advanced Aircraft Analysis (AAA), XFlr 5 aerodynamic and dynamic stability analysis, ANSYS CFX, ADAMS Multibody Dynamics and CATIA V5. Using the data from the preliminary design of the concept airplane a 1/10 scaled model airplane was built in order to calculate the aerodynamic performances of the real airplane.

The calculations were accomplished by a series of tests in wind tunnel in order to assess experimentally the aerodynamic characteristics of the airplane. From the wind tunnel tests it results an approx. 15% higher aerodynamic performances comparatively to the top light sport aircrafts in 2015, in the same class of regulations CS-LSA. Due to the higher aerodynamic performance it results lower fuel consumption and 10% higher flight range (1650 km with 100L of fuel).

After the wind tunnel test it was designed and manufactured a ¼ scaled experimental airplane for flight tests. The flight tests of the experimental airplane are in progress.

Based on the outstanding wind tunnel results and the flight test report it can be built a market for the new concept airplane and start the manufacturing process.



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  • Name:
    Norbert Angi
  • Type of entry:
  • Profession:
  • Norbert is inspired by:
    Aircraft development process is a comprehensive task so everyone said that it is impossible to one person design an airplane. I have worked hard and made my own design, after that we started to make wind tunnel tests and detailed structural and aerodynamic analysis of the airplane.
  • Software used for this entry:
    Catia V5
  • Patent status: