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Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

About the AE1111-I project ................................................................................................ 2
Grading ............................................................................................................................ 8
2D Pressure distributions on aerofoils ............................................................................ 9
LI Lift and weight ......................................................................................................21
DR Drag and Longitudinal stability ................................................................................30
TH Thrust ...................................................................................................................37
PW Power ...................................................................................................................42
3D Execution of 3D Wind Tunnel Experiment on a Swept Wing .......................................47
AD Aerodynamic Design...............................................................................................57
RE Range and Endurance ............................................................................................62
FE Flight envelope, climb rate and glide........................................................................65
BT Building and testing the aerodynamic model.............................................................67
M1 Mars Mission Design I ............................................................................................70
M2 Mars Mission Design II ...........................................................................................72
M3 Mars Mission Design - Poster ..................................................................................74

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

Change sheet
Date Name Section Change description

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

About the AE1111-I project

The AE1111-I project is a first exploration of the aerospace engineering field, which means it
aims to enhance knowledge taught in parallel courses by using the exploration theme.

Aerospace engineers create machines, from airplanes that weigh over a half a million pounds to
spacecraft that travel over 17,000 miles an hour. They design, develop and test aircraft,
spacecraft and missiles and supervise the manufacturing of these products. Aerospace
engineers develop new technologies for use in aviation, defence systems and space exploration,
often specializing in areas such as structural design, guidance, navigation and control,
instrumentation and communication, or production methods. They often use computer-aided
design (CAD) software, robotics, and lasers and advanced electronic optics. They also may
specialize in a particular type of aerospace product, such as commercial transports, military
fighter jets, helicopters, spacecraft, or missiles and rockets and can be experts in aerodynamics,
thermodynamics, celestial mechanics, propulsion, acoustics, or guidance and control systems.

Almost all jobs in engineering require some sort of interaction with co-workers. Whether they
are working in a team situation, or just asking for advice, most engineers must have the ability
to communicate and work with other people. Engineers should be creative, inquisitive,
analytical, and detail-oriented. They should be able to work as part of a team and to
communicate well, both orally and in writing. Communication abilities are important because
engineers often interact with specialists in a wide range of fields outside engineering.

This project is focused on flying wings, which have long been a dream of many designers. The
biggest problem found when building a flying wing aircraft is that such designs are inherently
unstable and they do not easily stay in level flight. Yet such an all-wing aircraft would have
excellent payload and range capabilities because it produces less drag than a conventional
aircraft as the tail and the fuselage of a conventional aircraft are responsible for a significant
amount of drag. Eliminate the tail and fuselage and you might be able to eliminate a great deal
of drag, enhance performance, reduce the amount of fuel required and improved the handling
capabilities of the airplane; an attractive prospect in the age of fuel running short and an
increase in air traffic transportation.

This manual is the general guideline for the different parts of the AE1111-I project and tells
you, the student, what has to be done for this project. Most of the exercises and lab sessions
will aid you in designing and building your own actual flying wing except for the part of the
project called Mars Mission Design. In that part of the project you will explore, with your team,
the design of a solar-powered aircraft which can map part of the surface on Mars and present
the design on a poster. You will find that some of the exercises throughout the student manual
also refer to Mars. They can be treated as stand-alone exercises that are not related to the
Mars Mission Design.

The schedule for this project can be found on the AE1111-I BrightSpace site, along with other
important information for this project. It should be noted that attendance to all project parts is
mandatory, according to the exam regulations, and will be registered. You can be absent for no
more than two project parts per period, which must be compensated for in consultation with
your tutor. If you are absent more than twice or do not compensate for being absent, you can
be expelled from the project.

It is recommended that you bring your own laptop with you during the project, since there are
only two computers available per project group in the project rooms.

As every part of this project requires a report answering all questions stated, a short description
is given below about the things required in a report:
Frontpage: Frontpage, including student names, student number, group
number and title.

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

Introduction: shortly introduce the topic and the outline of the report
Bibliography: All websites, books or information retrieved elsewhere, must be clearly
and properly documented at the end of the report. The reference list at the end of this
chapter can be seen as a good example.
Table with contributions of each student, to keep track of what you and your colleagues
have been doing during project, but it also important for the teaching assistants to keep
track that work is distributed equally.

Although the course AE1110-I Introduction to Aerospace Engineering is running parallel with
this course, it might occur that the project is running ahead. Nothing can be done about this
unfortunately, and you, the students, are asked to do some discovery yourself.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this project, please pass these on to your
mentor, so he or she can further take that into consideration. We hope you enjoy taking part in
this thematic project!

Aerodynamics of flying wings

Designing an aircraft, such as a flying wing, consists of many steps going from preliminary to
detailed design in which relevant disciplines like aerodynamics, propulsion, flight dynamics and
structures are considered.

With respect to aerodynamics, we will limit ourselves to the main aspects of aerodynamics of
flying wings, where complicating elements like the fuselage and the tail planes (denoted as the
empennage) are left out of the analysis. The wing is the main element of the aircraft that
exhibits all physical aerodynamic phenomena that occur, which makes a flying wing attractive
as a study object to elucidate the discussions on the basic laws of aerodynamics as discussed in
chapters 1 to 5 of Introduction to Flight (Anderson, 2008). Moreover, flying wings may have
some advantages when it comes to aerodynamic or performance efficiency when they are used
as a simple platform to carry equipment, such as cameras, either in the Earths atmosphere or
at remote planets.

NASA Mars Explorer (1999) Northrop YB-49 (1948)

Blended Wing Body (BWB) design Helios, high altitude research plane (2001)
Figure 1: Examples of flying wing aircraft with different missions.

The flying wing shows remarkable similarities with the blended wing body (BWB) (Figure 1)
which is being studied word-wide. In this sort of design the entire airplane (including the

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

fuselage) generates lift and is streamlined in such a way to minimize drag and produce a high
lift-to-drag ratio. On conventional transport aircraft, the cylindrical fuselage is a source of drag
and generates close to no lift. Therefore, the design of a flying wing can have significantly
better fuel characteristics than aircraft with a traditional layout. There are however some
serious drawbacks to flying wings which need to be overcome, such as the inherent
aerodynamic longitudinal instability and the limited space for cargo if the wing thickness is a
limiting factor (drag). You may find a lot more information that is relevant for this typical
aircraft design in open literature.

As the aerodynamics of wings is discussed extensively in Andersons book we will frequently

refer to this work for further reading. Furthermore, use will be made of the sample problems at
the end of the chapters to practice solving simple problems in the same manner as will be done
in subsequent exams.

In subsequent chapters the lift production of wings will be discussed, starting with the typical
behaviour of aerofoils. This will be done through a dedicated wind tunnel test in which the
pressure distribution is analysed. The results may be assumed to be typical for aerofoils in the
low speed regime, i.e. the effects of compressibility are neglected (M<0.3). In reality
compressible flow is found in most instances on larger transport aircraft and you are
encouraged to carefully go through the particular sections of Andersons book.

On Mars, the compressible regime is reached for even lower velocities. This is because of the
low temperature which lowers the speed of sound. Several wind tunnels exist to simulate the
Mars environment. The university of Aarhus (Denmark) operates a wind tunnel that is mainly
used for instrument testing and properties of the dust in the Martian atmosphere. NASA has a
wind tunnel for the same purpose. The University of Oxford uses their wind tunnel to test wind

Aarhus: http://marslab.au.dk/en/windfacilities/
NASA: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/ames/business/planetary_aeolian_facilities.html
Oxford: http://www.atm.ox.ac.uk/user/wilson/matacf.html

The way how lift, drag and pitching moment are created for 3-dimensional wing situations will
be considered as well as this is necessary to design the wing in a later stage of the project.
Here again the characteristics and aerodynamic phenomena are studied using wind tunnel
tests. Also, simplified theory as discussed in Anderson, 2008 is used. One should realize that
more accurate and sophisticated techniques are required to arrive at an acceptable design.
However, this extension is left to forthcoming lectures in the later years in the BSc and MSc
curriculum. In this project, the analysis of the aerodynamic characteristics is merely used to get
acquainted with the basic laws of aerodynamics.

Flight Mechanics and Space Systems

The term flight mechanics is commonly used for the combination of aircraft performance,
stability and control (Torenbeek and Wittenberg 2009). The field of aircraft stability and control
is also known as flight dynamics. In this first-year course on flight mechanics, the main
emphasis is on aircraft performance whilst the subject of flight dynamics will be treated in the
second and third year of the BSc curriculum.

Aircraft performance can be defined as the ability of an aircraft to effectively fulfil its mission.
Consequently, performance includes the study of the forces acting on an aircraft and the effects
that these forces have on the resulting translational motion. Key elements in the field of aircraft
performance are how far, high and fast a certain aircraft can fly. The elementary forces acting
on the aircraft are aerodynamic forces, propulsive (thrust) forces and the gravitational force.
Aircraft performance is therefore a topic where the results from several disciplines must be

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

A typical feature of an aircraft is its type of propulsion system. The main engine types for
manned aircraft are the piston engine, the turbofan and the turboprop. The turbofan is mainly
used for high-subsonic, long-haul aircraft. The conversion of the power delivered by piston
engines and turboprops into thrust is accomplished by means of a propeller.

A distinction can be made between point performance and path performance. Point
performance capabilities concern the performance of an aircraft at a given point in time, that is,
at a given point on the flight path. This means that point performance values refer to
instantaneous quantities, such as maximum speed in level flight or maximum rate of climb. Path
performance is related to a duration of the flight, such as time to climb and range and may
often be established by integration of quasi-steady point performance capabilities. The study of
performance problems in which the exchange between kinetic and potential energy is of
significance may fall within the category of flight dynamics.

Design performance concerns the prediction of the capabilities of a new aircraft type and
extends to include the validation of the estimates by executing flight tests. To prove compliance
with the airworthiness requirements experimental data is required. This is also the case for the
construction of the aircraft flight manual (AFM), specifying the conditions under which the
aircraft can be used safely. Operational performance governs the operation of an aircraft during
its entire lifetime.

Results from the field of aircraft performance can be used to explain the morphology of aircraft.
For example, an aircraft that is designed to fly at high speeds will have a very different shape
than an aircraft that is designed for low flight speed. An example is given in Figure 2, where a
supersonic aircraft is shown with very short wings on the left and a slow human powered
aircraft with relatively long and slender wings is shown on the right.

Figure 2: Supersonic aircraft (left) vs. Human powered aircraft (right)

The concepts introduced above (flight mechanics, flight dynamics, point- and path
performance) are valid for an aircraft moving in the Earths atmosphere as well as other planets
For the motion of rockets and satellites as a result of gravitational forces and propulsion (mostly
outside the atmosphere), the terms orbital mechanics and astrodynamics are used more

Contrary to a jet engine, a chemical rocket engine requires the vehicle to take both the fuel and
the oxidizer along (Cornelisse et al. 1979) for the complete journey. Depending on the state of
the fuel, chemical propulsion systems can be further subdivided into solid, liquid or hybrid
systems. For systems that require lower thrust, other propulsion systems can be used, such as
electrical propulsion (Wertz and Larson 1991). Generally, such low-thrust systems are more
efficient. Curious minds can consult references 10-12 or the references listed at the bottom of
the orbital mechanics Wikipedia page.

1. Torenbeek, E., Wittenberg, H., Flight Physics essentials of aeronautical disciplines and
technology with historical notes, Springer, 2009.

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

2. B.W. McCormick, Aerodynamics, Aeronautics, and Flight Mechanics, Wiley, New York, 1979.
3. R.S. Shevell, Fundamentals of Flight, Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey,
4. F.J. Hale, Aircraft Performance, Selection, and Design, Wiley, New York, 1984.
5. C.E. Padilla, Optimizing Jet Transport Efficiency, Performance, Operations & Economics,
McGraw-Hill, New York, 1996.
6. J.D. Anderson, Aircraft Performance and Design, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1999.
7. M.E. Eshelby, Aircraft Performance - Theory and Practice, Arnold, London, 2000.
8. M. Saarlas, Aircraft Performance, Wiley, New York, 2007.
9. G.J.J. Ruijgrok, Elements of airplane performance, VSSD, Delft, The Netherlands, 2009.
10. J.W. Cornelisse, H.F.R. Schyer, K.F. Wakker, Rocket Propulsion and Spaceflight Dynamics,
Pitman Publishing, London, 1979.
11. J.R. Wertz, W.J. Larson, Space mission analysis and design, Kluwer Academic Publishing,
Dordrecht, the Netherlands, 1991.
12. D.A. Vallado, Fundamentals of Astrodynamics and Applications, 2nd Edition, Microcosm Inc
and Kluwer Academic Publishing, Dordrecht, the Netherlands, 2001.

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

To pass this project you will need a grade six or higher and you may have only one grade lower
than 6.0. To get a grade, you will also need to fulfil the presence requirements. If you are
absent for too many parts and/or did not compensate for your absence, you will not get a
grade and will thus fail the project.

The final individual grade for this project consists of three main parts:
Group poster (20%)
Individual test (40%)
Individual assessment (40%)

Group poster
Each group will make a poster at the end of the project to present their final design. This poster
will then be presented at the competition day and a grade will be determined by a group of
staff members, including teachers from the course Introduction to Aerospace Engineering.

Individual test
A multiple-choice computer test will take place at the end of the project, in January, where the
knowledge you should have gained during the project will be tested. This test will be completed
individually. Your grade for this test needs to be 5.0 or higher, and may only be lower than 6.0
if your other grades for this project are above a 6.0.

Individual Assessment
The last part of your grade is determined by your tutor together with the staff members of this
project. Your grade for this assessment needs to be 5.0 of higher. For this grade six different
aspects of your individual performance throughout the project will be looked at:

Technical quality (50%)

Commitment (10%)
Attitude (10%)
Initiative (10%)
Management of Resources (10%)
Communication (10%)

During the project, all students will complete a peer evaluation in which you will be asked to
comment on your own performance and the performance of the members of your group. An
elaborate description of the tips and tops is for your own benefit and will allow you and your
fellow students improve in this and future projects. Please fill it in before the given deadline!

Structures and materials sessions

The first sessions of this project will be dedicated to a construction exercise and materials
testing, performed in the Hal. These sessions are not described in this reader, but are firmly
explained on BrightSpace. They can be found under Assignments > S1+S2. Please read the
practicum instructions beforehand.

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

2D Pressure distributions on aerofoils

This first part of the project consists of two parts, the preparation of 2D wind tunnel experiment
and the wind tunnel experiment itself. As there are only four 2D tunnels and up to eight
project groups per one half day, the tasks which do not require the wind tunnels need to be
completed around the measurements at the project tables.

A flying wing needs lift for which you need the velocity relative to the air, also known as airflow.
This airflow behaves in a certain way for which a 2D analysis provides insight.

Although it is possible to calculate the flow around entire airplanes using high-performance
computers, wind tunnels are still very important. Besides measurements on aircraft
aerodynamics, fundamental work on specific flow characteristics is done using modern
measurement methods. Experimental research and numerical research in aerodynamics are
complementary as the numerical research can give more insight in flow phenomena and the
experimental research is used to validate numerical calculations. In this respect there seems to
be a growing demand for dedicated wind tunnels. Apart from the necessity of experimental
research, wind tunnels also provide a relatively simple means to show the basic flow
phenomena and offer hands on experience of aerodynamics.

The wind tunnel experiment discussed in this and the following chapter is meant to provide a
better inside in the airflow around a wing profile and the associated pressure distribution, which
are also treated in the aerodynamics lectures (AE1110-I). The experiment will be performed on
a TecQuipment AF10 Airflow Bench, a small wind tunnel equipped with a wing profile in the
airflow. This profile has pressure holes to measure the air pressure and its angle of attack ( )
is adjustable.

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

The student should:

Learning become familiar with total, static and dynamic pressure.
understand the basic working principle of wind tunnels,
objectives pressure holes and manometers.
obtain insight in the behaviour of 2-dimensional aerofoils.
understand the working of a simple wind tunnel and the
manometer measuring device.
have the ability to execute a 2D wind tunnel experiment.
be able to convert measurements from one quantity to the
(40 min.) Preparation and familiarizing with the theory,
Schedule including reading the related chapters in Anderson (2008).
(15 min.) Divide the tasks over the group members.
(60 min.) Working out of the exercises.
(60 min.) Preparation and execution of wind tunnel
experiment for six different angles of attack (all group
members need to be present).
(30 min.) Working out the results of the wind tunnel
(30 min.) Presentation of results to tutor.
Make sure that you write clearly on everything you
Deliverables hand in who has worked on it.
Worked out exercises [Task 1: 1.1-1.7]
Measurement report of the wind tunnel exercise [Task 1
Worked out exercises and produced graphs [Task 3]
The combined wind tunnel measurements for all six angles
of attack delivered to the tutor as well as to all members of
the group (needed for LI).
Clear table containing work and hour distributions of all

Theoretical background
The theory used in this chapter and during the wind tunnel experiment will also be treated in
the aerodynamics lectures (AE1110-I) but for this project it is important that you know the
working principle of wind tunnels, the different pressures and manometers before you start
working out the results of the wind tunnels. Therefore, you should read chapter 4.10 until
4.11.1 in Anderson (2008). If after reading there are still things on these concepts unclear,
please feel free to do your own investigation to find the required information. Below you will
find a short summary of the most important equations, but be aware, these are only the
equations in their final form. For the derivations, please read the related chapters in Anderson
Continuity equation
One of the basic principles from physics is that mass can neither be created nor destroyed. If
this should be applied on a flowing gas, the following equation must hold: m 1 m 2 . This means
that the mass flow at point 1 in a stream tube must be equal to the mass flow at point 2 (see
Figure 1). This can be written as:

m 1 m 2 1 A1 V1 2 A2 V2 (1)

This can be further simplified if we assume that the flow is incompressible, which means that
the density does not change within the stream tube and Equation (1) becomes

A1 V1 A2 V2 (2)

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

Figure 1: Stream tube with mass conservation [Anderson (2008)]

Bernoullis equation
The derivation given in Anderson (2008) for Bernoullis equation assumes a steady,
incompressible, irrotational, and inviscid flow and can be written as:

p1 12 V12 p2 12 V22 (3)

Using Bernoullis equation with a Pitot-static tube (information on the Pitot-static tube can be
found in chapter 4.11 in Anderson (2008), the following equation can be formed:

p 12 V12 p0 (4)

The first term is the static pressure, the second term describes the dynamic pressure and the
last term states the total pressure. The total pressure is sometimes also written as pt .

During the wind tunnel experiment you will measure the pressure differences along the aerofoil
using a manometer. In this section, the basic principles behind manometer measurements will
be discussed. A simple manometer is a tube in an U shape, filled with a fluid, see Figure 2. In
this situation one side of the U tube is connected to a certain pressure p1 . The other side is
connected to a certain pressure p2 . A difference in fluid height, h , in the U tube is a measure
for the difference in pressure, p2 p1 . In equation form this looks like:
p 1 A p 2 A w A h (5)
Here, A is the cross-sectional area of the tube and w is the specific weight of the fluid. w is
defined as the density of the fluid times the acceleration of gravity. Equation (5) can be written
p1 p2 g h w h (6)

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

Figure 2: Force diagram for a manometer [Anderson (2008)]

If one of the pressures is known, say the ambient pressure; and the height difference is
measured, Equation (6) can be used to calculate the unknown pressure on the aerofoil. Please
note that the width of the tube, A, on either side is not important, if it is equal!
Speed of sound
The speed of sound, as the words already suggest, is the speed at which sound propagates
through a medium. In many aerodynamic problems, the speed of sound plays an important
role. How the speed of sound fulfils this role becomes clear in the coming aerodynamics
lectures and during the rest of your studies. The principle is introduced in this section, but the
complete derivation of the formula for the speed of sound in a gas can be found in Anderson,
2008. The most important result of this derivation is that the speed of sound in a perfect gas
depends only on the temperature of that gas:

a R T (7)

The parameters and R are constants (look up their values). Next to the speed of sound, there
is another widely used quantity, the so-called Mach number. It is defined as:

M (8)
See chapter 4.11 of Anderson (2008) for further details.

Execution of 2D Wind Tunnel Experiment

For a wing to be able to fly, it must consist of a number or wing profiles which are extruded
over the span. How the flow over these profiles causes changes in pressure can best be
demonstrated in a wind tunnel.

This chapter will cover one of the more practical sessions during the aerodynamics part of your
first-year project. You will do measurements on a NACA0020 aerofoil in a small vertical wind
tunnel. All preparation steps for the measurements and the measurements themselves need to
be done by you and your project group. First you will get some theoretical background to be
able to operate the wind tunnel. After this you will do the measurements at different angles of
attack and you will have to record the measurement results. Finally, you must process the
results and do some exercises related to the wind tunnel experiment.

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

Theoretical background

The wind tunnel

The wind tunnel we use for the experiments is the TecQuipment AF10 Airflow Bench which is a
simple vertical wind tunnel (see Figure 1). The wind tunnel generates a controlled airflow for
various experiments with standard equipment.

Figure 1: The TecQuipment AF10 Airflow Bench

Principle of the wind tunnel

The wind tunnel has a fan that draws air from the atmosphere and generates a flow along a
pipe into a settling chamber (or air box) above the test area. In this settling chamber the flow is
conditioned to produce a uniform laminar flow. Any unsteadiness or unevenness of the flow is
further reduced by the increase of velocity towards the test section (the air is accelerated
through a contraction). The velocity of the flow can be regulated by a valve that is positioned in
the pipe. The rectangular exit at the end of the contraction is provided with quick release joints
to which various test sections can be coupled. In the following experiment, such a test section
is used.
Operating the wind tunnel
All complementary assets of the wind tunnel are breakable and very expensive. So treat
everything with utmost care!

The wind tunnel has two important buttons:

Start-button: the black button on the right side below the wind tunnel
Stop-button: the red button on the right side below the wind tunnel next to the black one

The valve of the wind tunnel can be set from 0 to 1. The setting 0 means the valve is near to
close (low wind velocity), while setting 1 means the valve is completely open (highest wind
velocity). Neither of these settings is very good when starting up the wind tunnel, therefore the

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

setting of the valve is fixed and should not be changed! When you are ready to perform the
tests, just press the start button and begin with the measurements.

Figure 2: Multi-tube manometer and the principle of reading pressures [Markland


The multi-tube manometer

The multi-tube manometer (Figure 2) is a manometer with fourteen tubes that can be
connected to pressure tubes. Figure 2 is only meant to explain the principle of reading
measurements from a manometer, it is not the actual set-up you will be using. The manometer
liquid is water coloured by a dye, this to improve the visualization of the water height. The
density of the water is not significantly altered by addition of the dye. The manometer can be
used inclined to a suitable angle to increase sensitivity, however this is not necessary for the
experiments we are performing. The reservoir of manometer liquid can be set to different
heights to adjust to the experimental situation. Know the liquid height does not tell anything
about individual pressures you want to measure! The only thing that you will be able to
measure is the pressure difference that can be obtained by reading the shift in liquid height in
the manometer tube. The reservoir connection must be left open to atmospheric pressure
during the measurement. The pressures are not read directly from the level of the manometer.
It depends on what quantity is desired. First the level (in mm) is read and then the pressure
difference desired is calculated e.g. h p h pt p pt [mm H2O)] (Figure 2). After that the
pressure difference can be calculated using the conversion factor; pressure readings taken in
terms of mm of water may be converted to units of N/m2 with the relationship:

1 mm water = 9.80665 N/m2

Description of the equipment
For this experiment a module that houses a tapped aerofoil profile, as shown in Figure 3, is
coupled to the wind tunnel exit. The layout of the module is indicated in Figure 4, Table 1 and
Table 2. The aerofoil has 6 pressure holes on the upper surface and 6 on the lower surface. All
pressure holes are connected to the manifold next to the test section, the manometer is
connected to this manifold. The angle of attack of the aerofoil can be adjusted by simply
turning the aerofoil (NOTE: turning the aerofoil clockwise represents a positive angle of attack).

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

Figure 3: The TecQuipment AF18 aerofoil module [Markland (2009)]

Figure 4: The NACA0020 aerofoil [Markland (2009)]

Table 1: Aerofoil model details

Aerofoil type NACA0020
Aerofoil chord 63 mm
Aerofoil wingspan 49 mm
Effective surface area 0.0031 m2

Table 2: Tapping positions on the NACA0020 model

Tapping Tapping position from

number the leading edge [mm]
1 2.2
2 3.9
3 6.1
4 8.7
5 11.8
6 14.8
7 20.0
8 25.6
9 31.4
10 37.3
11 43.4
12 49.4

Task 1: Exercises
Divide exercises 1.1 1.7 among the different group members. Next to calculations you are
also asked to make a sketch of the situation (like Figure 5) with all relevant numbers and
parameters in it.

Each subgroup should prepare a short presentation about the exercise they did for the rest of
the project group. The purpose of the presentation is to tell the rest of the group how you have

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

solved the exercise. Use the whiteboard to explain the steps you have taken. In the preparation
you should think about how you are going to explain your work to the rest in a consistent way.

1.1 Explain why the width, A, of the tube in a manometer is not relevant in the calculations.

1.2 In Figure 5 you see a simple representation of the wind tunnel you will be using next
week. It consists of a settling chamber and a convergent duct. A fan generates a flow in
the settling chamber and due to the contraction, the air is accelerated through the duct.
In the wind tunnel there are 3 pressure holes, one in the settling chamber ( P1 ), one in
the contraction ( P2 ) and one in the duct ( P3 ). The pressure at point 1 and 3 is
measured using a manometer. The pressures are measured with respect to the
atmosphere and given in mm H2O. At point 1 there is a difference of 25mm and at point
3 there is no difference. It is further given that 1mm H2O is equal to 9.81N/m2 and the
wind tunnel is located at sea level in a standard atmosphere on Earth. Assume that the
cross-sectional area of the settling chamber is very large compared to the cross section
of the duct.

Figure 5: Representation of a simple vertical wind tunnel

Calculate the speed of the air in the duct. What assumption did you use?
What is the Mach number of the airflow?
Why is it not possible to use the pressure at point 2 instead of point 1 to calculate
the speed of the air in the duct?
Assume the wind tunnel is placed on the planet Mars. Calculate how high the
pressure should be in the settling chamber to get the same speed as calculated
earlier. Use the data for the standard atmosphere for Mars given in Excel sheet
MarsAtmosphere.xls that can be found on BrightSpace.
How much higher is pressure in the settling chamber with respect to the
atmosphere (in %), on Mars? And on Earth?
What is the speed of sound on Mars at sea level in the standard atmosphere
described above?

1.3 Consider the incompressible flow of water through a divergent duct. The inlet velocity
and area are 1.524 m/s and 0.929 m2, respectively. If the exit area is 4 times the inlet
area, calculate the water flow velocity at the exit and the pressure difference between
the exit and the inlet. (Based on question 4.1 and 4.2 from Anderson (2008))

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

1.4 Consider an airplane flying with a velocity of 30 m/s at a standard altitude of 3 km on

Mars. At a certain point on the wing, the airflow velocity is 35 m/s. Calculate the
pressure and the Mach number at this point (use the speed of sound calculated in 1.2).
(Based on question 4.3 from Anderson (2008))

1.5 Consider a low-speed wind tunnel with a nozzle contraction ratio of 1:20. One side of a
mercury manometer is connected to the settling chamber, and the other side to the test
section. The pressure and temperature in the test section are 1 atm and 300 K,
respectively. What is the height difference between the two columns of mercury when
the test section velocity is 80 m/s? (Question 4.18 from Anderson (2008))

1.6 A Pitot tube is mounted in the test section of a low-speed subsonic wind tunnel. The
flow in the test section has a velocity, static pressure and temperature of 241.4 km/h, 1
atm and 21.1 C, respectively. Calculate the pressure measured by the Pitot tube.
(Based on question 4.20 in Anderson (2008))

1.7 A wind meter that is to be used on Mars is tested in a wind tunnel. The wind meter can
measure dynamical pressure with an accuracy of 0.03 Pa. What is the minimum wind
speed at which an accuracy in wind velocity of 10% is reached? Assume that the
density is known without error.

Task 2: The wind tunnel experiment

During this wind tunnel experiment you are going to perform measurements on a NACA0020
profile. You will be doing pressure measurements on the aerofoil at different angles of attack.
These measurements will be further processed in the following chapter.

During the experiment dont forget to measure the air temperature [K], using the thermometer
attached to the wind tunnel and the barometric pressure [N/m2]. The barometric pressure can

Figure 6: Connection of the AF18 module to the multitube manometer [Markland (2009)]
be taken from the KNMI website observations for the location of Rotterdam. You need these
data later to determine the air density.

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

Before the measurements can be done, the aerofoil pressure holes should be connected to the
manometer. Check if connections are done correct. To understand the results better, you
should connect tappings 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11 (lower surface) to the first set of manometer
tubes. Tappings 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 (upper surface) can then be connect to the next set of
tubes. The 13th tube should be left open so all pressures are shown with respect to the
atmosphere. The final tube is used for measuring the static pressure in the airbox and at the
inlet. This set-up can be seen in Figure 6.

If the manometer is set-up correctly, you can start the wind tunnel, as described earlier. The
valve controlling the flow is already open and should not be changed. Now the wind tunnel is
running and ready for the measurements to start. You have about one hour to complete the

The angle of attack of the aerofoil can be adjusted after loosening a screw at the back of the
test section. For the first measurement set the angle of attack to 0 (zero). Do not forget to
tighten the screw again.

For the different angles of attack the following should be done (NOTE: all pressure
measurements should be done with respect to the manometer tube with the atmospheric
pressure) and in the following order:

Measure the ambient pressure, patm , and the air temperature, Tair . Since the wind tunnel
draws its air from the room, the air temperature is assumed to be the same as the
temperature in the test section.
Connect the static pressure tapping at the top of the wind tunnel (air box) to the last
manometer tube and measure the pressure, pt .
Change from the static pressure tapping at the top of the wind tunnel to the static pressure
tapping in the inlet and measure this pressure, p .
Measure all the pressures from the tappings at the aerofoil.

Repeat all these measurements for the following angles of attack -5, 0, 5, 12.5, 20 and
25. This brings the amount of measurements, including the first measurement at 0, to 6 in
total. You can write your measurements down in a table like Table 3, use for every
measurement a new table. The grey cell in the table should be filled out during the
measurement. A sheet with tables where you can enter your measurements should be available
at the wind tunnel.

Also at high angles of attack, you will see that the pressure changes abruptly. Write down the
angle of attack at which this happens. Also write down the pressure distribution (from the
manometer) for this angle of attack.

Remark: please note the behaviour of the surface mounted tuft during the measurements as
this may indicate flow separation (further discussed later on)

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

Table 3: Results wind tunnel measurements

Angle of attack, []
Air temperature, Tair [K]
Ambient pressure, patm [N/m2]
Tapping hp h p - h patm p patm p
[mm H2O] [mm H2O] [N/m2] [N/m2]


Task 3: Results of the wind tunnel experiment

The following questions must be worked out after the wind tunnel experiment in the project

3.1 For the measurements you did at the wind tunnel, you must calculate the pressure p in
N/m2 for all tappings on the aerofoil, in the airbox (p0) and the inlet (p). Use the
intermediate steps indicated in the table. This is a similar exercise as you have done in
task 2.

3.2 To check the behaviour of the pressure distribution over the model you should draw the
data points in a figure like Figure 7 (available on BrightSpace) or in a likewise plot. Each
group should draw the pressure distribution at a different angle of attack.

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

Figure 7: Sample figure for the pressure distribution over the NACA0020 profile

3.3 Calculate the Mach number in the inlet. Considering this, is it allowed to assume
incompressible flow?

3.4 Where would you expect the highest Mach number at aerofoil? How high is it? At which
angle of attack? How much higher is it compared to the flow at the inlet?

3.5 Calculate the Reynolds number. Can you achieve the same Reynolds number on Mars
(use the excel sheet MarsAtmosphere.xls)?

3.6 What diameter should a wind tunnel for Martian conditions have, to achieve laminar
flow at 10 m/s? (Note: assume that turbulent flow occurs for a Reynolds number larger
than 104). Which wind tunnels (see section About the AE1111-I project) that simulate
Martian conditions will likely exhibit turbulent flow?

3.7 What happens at high angles of attack? How can you see that in the pressure

3.8 Why is water and not Mercury used in the measurements of pressure differences? What
are the advantages of water in comparison to Mercury? When would you use Mercury?

Now the pressure distribution has been determined along the aerofoil, it is an easy step to
convert this into forces, such as lift and drag. These topics will be treated in the subsequent
chapters. A well-constructed Excel sheet might come in useful, as future exercises may need to
be added and that the Excel sheet may need to be updated.

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

LI Lift and weight

A flying wing needs lift to stay in the air. This lift is generated by a distribution of pressure over
the wing. You have learned about the pressure distribution along an aerofoil in the previous

Part 1 - Lift distribution

In the previous chapter, you have measured pressure distributions of an aerofoil at different
angles of attack. The next step is to use these pressure distributions to determine the lift
coefficient of the aerofoils. In this chapter, you will learn how this can be done. After this we
will look at the relation between the lift coefficient and the angle of attack of a certain aerofoil.
You will probably guess that the lift will increase when the angle of attack increases. But will
this also follow from the measurements and calculations? And how will a plot of the lift
coefficient as a function of the angle of attack look like? When you finished this chapter, you
will have the answers to these questions.

Part 2 Lift and weight

In a few weeks you will have to design your flying wing. To be able to make choices about the
design parameters of the aircraft (wingspan, chord length, thickness, sweep, etc.), you should
understand what influence these parameters have on your flight performance. In this chapter,
we will focus on the lift and weight of the aircraft. In this respect the main question to be
answered is: will the wing generate enough lift to counteract the weight of the aircraft? If this is
not the case the aircraft simply will not fly. At the end of this chapter you will be able to
estimate the lift force of your flying wing.

The student should be able to:

Learning Understand the relation between pressure distribution and
objectives Convert the pressure distributions to lift coefficient.
Get insight in the typical lift curve of 2-dimensional
Understand the balance between wing lift and weight.
Understand the difference between infinite and finite wings.
Build a (well structured) excel sheet for lift analysis.
(30 min.) Preparation and familiarizing with the theory,
Schedule including reading the related chapters in Anderson (2008).
(15 min.) Divide tasks amongst group members.
(165 min.) Work out tasks.
(30 min.) Share results amongst group members
Make sure that you write clearly on everything you
Deliverables hand in who has worked on it.

Worked out exercises and produced graphs [Task 1, 2, 3

and 5].
Lift curve and important values (Table 2) of NACA 0020
with the entire group [Task 3.1 and Task 4].
Worked out calculation of [Task 5].
Worked out calculation of E and the total excel sheet (lift
and weight) [Task 6 and 7].
Table with the results for lift and weight [Task 8 and 9].
Clear table containing work and hour distributions of all

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

Theoretical background

Pressure coefficient
Start with reading Chapter 5.6 of Anderson (2008) to get familiar with the definition of pressure
coefficient. You should be able to find and understand the following formula for the pressure

( p patm ) ( p patm ) p p p p
C (1)
p q q 1 V2

Cp = Pressure coefficient (dimensionless)
p = Pressure at a given point (tapping) (N/m2)
p = Undisturbed static pressure (N/m2)
q = Undisturbed dynamic pressure (N/m2)
= Density (kg/m3)
V = Undisturbed free stream velocity (m/s)

The aerofoil is in a duct in which the boundary layer thickness over the wall increases. This
gives a smaller effective area around the aerofoil, leading to a free stream velocity which is, in
stream wise direction, higher at the aerofoil than it is at the inlet. This can be explained using
the continuity equation as shown in Chapter 2 of Anderson (2008). To correct for this, you must
find the effective static pressure ( peff ), around the aerofoil, and then use this to find the
correct free stream velocity around the aerofoil.
To find the effective static pressure, you must interpolate between the duct inlet pressure
(some distance in front of the aerofoil) and atmospheric pressure (behind the aerofoil). This
means that you assume the pressure as a function of distance from the inlet to the outlet to be
linear. Now you will be able to estimate the effective pressure at each point between the inlet
and the outlet. The duct inlet tapping is 135 mm upstream of the exit of the duct. The centre of
the aerofoil is 85 mm downstream from this tapping. So:

peff p ( patm p ) (2)

where p is the pressure at the duct inlet and patm is the atmospheric pressure.

For each angle of attack, you can use peff to find the correct free stream velocity ( V ) with
Bernoullis equation:
pt peff V2 (3)

For each tapping point on the aerofoil, find the pressure coefficient with the equation for
pressure coefficient as mentioned above using:
p peff
Cp (4)
1 V 2

Where p is the pressure measured at a specific tapping.

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

Lift coefficient
The next step is to use pressure distributions to calculate the lift coefficients of the different
aerofoils under different angles of attack. The definition of lift coefficient should have been
treated in the lectures, but if the meaning of lift coefficient is still a bit vague for you, start with
reading Chapter 5.3 of Anderson (2008).

Read Chapter 5.7 of Anderson (2008) as well. Here you can find that the area between the two
curves (upper and lower surface) in the pressure distribution graph is equal to the normal force
coefficient. In other words, the integral of the upper surface Cp-curve minus the lower surface
Cp-curve gives the normal force coefficient. This is represented by the following formula:

c0 C p ,l C p ,u dx C p ,l C p ,u d

where cn is the normal force coefficient, c the chord length, C p ,l the lower surface pressure
coefficient curve and C p ,u the upper surface pressure coefficient curve. The next step is to
convert this normal force coefficient into a lift coefficient. In Anderson (2008) you can find that
these terms relate as follows:
cl cn cos ca sin (6)

Where cl is the lift coefficient, is the angle of attack and ca is the axial force coefficient
(also often symbolized as ct ). In Anderson (2008) it is stated that for small angles of attack
( 5 ) you can assume that cl cn , since then cos 1 and sin 0 . Although some of

your measurements were performed at angles of attack higher than 5 degrees, for simplification
you can assume cl cn in all your calculations. Know this assumption is not allowable in more
advanced aerodynamic experiments, since it can differ greatly from the real case!

In the previous chapter, you have learned to determine the lift coefficient of an aerofoil from its
pressure distribution. The next step is to convert this lift coefficient to a lift force. In Chapter
5.3 and 5.4 of Anderson (2008) you can find the following relation:

L CL V 2 S (7)

L = Lift force [N]
= Air density [kg/m3] (varies with altitude)
V = Flight speed [m/s]
CL = Lift coefficient [dimensionless]
S = Wing area [m2]

Figure 1: A380 in cruise flight

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018


Task 1: Compute the pressure distributions of the wind

tunnel experiment
Perform the following two subtasks for all 6 different angles of attack that where measured in
the wind tunnel. Use Excel for your calculations and plots. A typical form of a pressure
distribution on an aerofoil can be found in Chapter 5.7 of Anderson (2008). Make sure that
eventually all angles of attack are covered, since they are needed in Task 3.

Calculate the pressure coefficients of all measured points along the surface
Make one graph of the pressure distributions over both the upper and lower surface. Plot
negative C p in the positive y-direction. Connect the points with straight lines.

Task 2: Exercises
Now you should have 6 graphs of pressure distributions of the aerofoil measured in the wind
tunnel, each for a different angle of attack. Answer the following questions:

2.1 Why do we plot C p (negative) instead of C p (positive) upward?

2.2 At which Mach number did you perform the wind tunnel experiment? What would
happen with the pressure distribution graphs if your measurements where performed at
(a) half this speed and (b) Mach 0.8?

2.3 Is there a relation between the location of the thickest part of the aerofoil and the
lowest pressure (in your data)? Explain.

2.4 What is the highest value of C p that is to be found in the test and why? How do we call
this point on the aerofoil?

Task 3: Compute the lift coefficients and the lift curve

3.1 Wind tunnel experiment

In Task 1 you have produced graphs of the pressure distributions over the upper and lower
surface of the aerofoil, at six different angles of attack. Use the theory above to determine
the lift coefficient at each angle of attack.
Combine the results to plot these 6 lift coefficients as a function of the angle of attack,
using Excel.

3.2 MH44 with use of the Trapezoid Rule

Download the file PressureDistributionMH44.xls from BrightSpace (AE1-100 -> Course
Documents). In this file you will see the following column titles:

Table 1: Part of PressureDistributionMH44.xls

Upper Surface
x/c Cp Step size Average height Area covered
0 0.99093
0.00505 0.58711
0.01449 0.20079
0.0282 -0.06389
.. ..

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

As you can see the first two columns are already filled in. The first column represents the
tapping position from the leading edge, divided by the chord length. The second column is the
pressure coefficient at that tapping position. The pressure distribution can be plotted with this
information. Further down the excel sheet (not visible in the table above), also the pressure
coefficients of tapping points on the lower surface are given.

This pressure distribution will be integrated using the Trapezoid Rule, which is explained in
Appendix A of this reader. Be aware that the step size between the tapping points (referred to
as h in Appendix A) is not constant! Therefore Equations A.5 and A.6 are not valid.

Plot the pressure distribution from the provided data in excel. Upper and lower surfaces
should be plotted in the same graph.

Use the Trapezoid Rule to find the lift coefficient of the MH44 aerofoil. The three column
titles are given to point you in the right direction.

3.3 Pressure distribution given by a function

In some cases, it is useful to evaluate theoretical pressure distributions which are given by a
function. By integration of that function it is then possible to get an exact result for the lift
coefficient, instead of an estimation by using the Trapezoid Rule or another method.

Consider an aerofoil under zero angle of attack with chord length c and the running distance
x measured along the chord. The leading edge is located at x / c 0 and the trailing edge at
x / c 1 . The pressure coefficient distributions over the upper and lower surfaces are given,
respectively, as:
x x
C p ,u 1 200 for 0 0.13
c c
x x
C p ,u 2.47 2.63 for 0.13 1.0
c c
x x
C p ,l 1 0.84 for 0 1.0
c c

Calculate the lift coefficient. Type out your calculation steps clearly.

Task 4: Determine important values from the lift curve

From a lift curve, some important characteristics of an aerofoil can be determined. One is the
angle of attack at which no lift is generated ( L 0 ). Another one is the lift slope ( dcl / d )
When these two values and the angle of attack are known, the lift coefficient can easily be
cl ( L 0 ) (8)

Of course, this function only holds for the linear part of the lift curve! Another important
property of an aerofoil is the maximum lift coefficient ( cl ,max ). This is the top of the lift curve.

Evaluate the lift curve of the aerofoil tested in the wind tunnel to determine the three
characteristics mentioned above.

Fill in the table on the next page.

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

Table 2: Lift curve characteristics

NACA 0020 (Wind tunnel)
cl 0
dcl / d

Task 5: Exercises

Answer the following questions:

Does the NACA 0020 profile have a lift curve which is going through the origin? Explain why
lift curves of certain aerofoils go through the origin and others do not.

Which phenomenon occurs when the angle of attack gets too high? Make a sketch of the
flow of this for a sample aerofoil.

What is the ratio of the lift coefficients on Mars and on Earth for an aircraft with the same
mass, wing surface area and cruise speed?

Search your book and the internet for the theoretical value of the lift slope ( dcl / d ) for
thin aerofoils. Does this value agree with the value you have found for the NACA 0020

Task 6: Determine the lift coefficient of a solar airplane on Mars in cruise


Consider the Sky-Sailor autonomous solar powered Martian airplane with characteristics given in
the paper Noth et al. (ASTRA proceedings, 2004):

Draw the forces acting on an aircraft in flight. Determine the relations between those forces
in steady horizontal flight.

Calculate the lift coefficient of the Sky-Sailor in cruise flight.

Theoretical background

Infinite and finite wings

In the Wind Tunnel Experiment 2D you tested a so-called infinite wing, since the wing was
clamped between the walls of the wind tunnel. However, the flying wing will be a finite wing,
since it has wing tips. Chapter 5.13 of Anderson (2008) explains the difference between the lift
coefficient of an infinite and a finite wing. Read this chapter before you continue.

With the aerofoil lift coefficients found in the previous chapter we can calculate the lift per unit
L ( per unit span) V 2cl c (9)

where c is the chord length. You should understand now that we cannot just multiply the lift
per unit span with the wingspan to find the total lift:

L L ( per unit span) b (10)

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

L V 2cl S (11)

Figure 2: Representation of a lift distribution over an infinite wing (left) and a finite wing

The only difference between equations 7 and 11 is the lift coefficient. The aerofoil lift coefficient
(Cl) is not equal to the wing lift coefficient (CL). As we will see later the lift distribution of a
straight finite wing can sometimes be approximated by an elliptical distribution (see chapter
5.14 of Anderson (2008)). This elliptical lift distribution can now be used to model the actual lift
distribution over your wing. We can use this model to estimate the relation between the aerofoil
lift coefficient and the wing lift coefficient.

Shown on the left side of Figure 2 is the case when a section of an infinite lift distribution is
assumed. On the right side an elliptical lift distribution is shown. This is a far more realistic
representation of the actual lift distribution over a finite wing. Note that the maximum lift per
unit span lift (in the middle of the wing) of the elliptical lift distribution is equal to the lift per
unit span of the infinite lift distribution.

Let us define E as a factor that relates the area of the elliptical lift distribution to the infinite lift
E (12)

Where Aellipse is the surface area of the elliptical lift distribution and Ainfinite the surface area of the
infinite lift distribution (dashed area in Figure 2). Since the surface of the lift distribution
represents the total lift of the wing, the following relation can be found (using Equation 9):

V 2bc c
E 2 l (13)

So, if we can determine a value for E and the aerofoil lift coefficient (cl) is known, the wing lift
coefficient (CL) can easily be calculated. For reference, further information about the relations
between infinite and finite wing can be found in Chapter 5.13 and 5.15 of Anderson (2008).

After you finished the design your flying wing will be cut out from a block of foam. This is not
the usual foam used to isolate houses, but a special engineered plastic foam material which is a
lot stronger and less brittle than the usual foam. This very light weight material is called EPP
(Expanded Polypropylene) and has a density of 20 kg/m3.

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

Next to the weight of the wing itself the following items should be added to calculate the total
weight of the aircraft:
- Battery
- Propellers
- Electronics
The total mass of these three items is 17 grams.

Keep in mind that it could be possible that more weight must be added to the aircraft in a later
stadium, i.e. stabilizing fins or duct tape.

Task 7: Build an Excel sheet which calculates the total lift force

S c

Figure 3: Top view of the flying wing

Chord line

Figure 4: Side view of the flying wing

In this task, you will have to build an Excel sheet which calculates the total lift of the flying wing
when all parameters are known. Consider your aircraft as a rectangular wing with a certain
airspeed under a certain angle of attack, as shown in Figure 3 and Figure 4.
Your Excel sheet should contain only the following input variables:
- Factor between elliptical and infinite lift distribution (E) [dimensionless]
Dimensional characteristics
- Chord length (c) in [mm]
- Wingspan (b) in [mm]
Aerofoil characteristics
- Zero-angle-of-attack lift coefficient (cl(0)) [dimensionless]
- Lift slope (dcl/d) in [rad-1]
Flight characteristics
- Airspeed (V) in [m/s]
- Angle of attack () in [rad]
- Air density () in [kg/m3]
- Gravitational acceleration (g) in [m/s2]

With these variables, the following parameters should be calculated:

- Wing area (S) in [m2]
- Wing lift coefficient (CL) [dimensionless]

Perform the following subtasks:

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

Build the excel sheet capable of calculating the total lift force in Newton. Make sure your
sheet is well structured; it should be clear which values are input variables and which
values are calculated.
Calculate E using Equation 12.

Task 8: Extend your Excel sheet with weight calculation

Add the following input variables to your excel sheet:
- Area of aerofoil (Aaerofoil) in [mm2]
- Density of EPP (EPP) in [kg/m3]
- Weight of battery, propellers and electronics (Wbpe) in [g]
- Extra weight (Wextra) in [g]

Figure 5: NACA 0020 aerofoil

To estimate the area of the aerofoil ( Aairfoil ) you can use the ratio between the maximum
thickness ( tmax ) and chord of the aerofoil. The ratio is given by the aerofoil name: NACA 0020
means that the percentage of thickness to chord is 20%.

Extend your Excel sheet so it calculates the weight of the aircraft in Newton.
Task 9: Calculate lift and weight with use of excel sheet
Consider two rectangular wings flying in a standard atmosphere on sea level with the
characteristics as stated in Table 3.

Table 3: Characteristics of two flying wings

Flying Wing 1 Flying Wing 2
Aerofoil NACA 0020 NACA 0020
Wingspan 600 mm 400 mm
Chord 120 mm 75 mm
Airspeed 3 m/s 6 m/s
Angle of attack 3 3

Calculate the lift and weight (in Newton) of both flying wings, using your Excel sheet. Check
with your fellow group members if everyone has found the same results.

Lift and weight have now been discussed thoroughly, but how about the drag an aircraft has to
overcome? Furthermore, lift and drag may also contribute to the longitudinal stability of the
aircraft. This will be treated in the next chapter.

Noth, A, Bouabdallah, S, Michaud, S, Siegwart, R, Engel W, 2004, The design of an autonomous
solar powered Martian airplane, In: Proceedings of the 8th ESA Workshop on Advanced Space
Technologies for Robotics, (ASTRA 2004), Noordwijk, Netherland,2004

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

DR Drag and Longitudinal stability

As discussed in the previous chapter, there are four forces acting on an aircraft. Lift and weight
have been treated already and in this chapter, drag and thrust will be discussed.

On aircraft, such as flying wings, drag is considered unwanted as it needs to be overcome by

thrust. Thrust is generally created by either a piston engine or a jet/turbofan engine. Both come
in many different variants, but that is not the scope of this chapter.
The student should be able to:
Learning become familiar with the concept of drag and be able to
explain which contributions make up the drag on a wing
objectives Calculate the total drag of a wing
Get insight in the drag behaviour of a 3-dimensional wing
Be familiar with the concept of (longitudinal) stability.
Describe how longitudinal stability can be achieved.
(30 min) Preparation and familiarizing with the theory,
Schedule including reading the related chapters in Anderson (2008)
(15 min) Divide the tasks over the group
(45 min) Extend the excel sheet with drag and thrust
(120 min) Working out the exercises.
(30 min) Present results.
Make sure that you write clearly on everything you
Deliverables hand in who has worked on it.

Excel sheet with the drag/thrust calculations (hand in

digitally) [Task 1 & 2]
Worked out exercises [Task 3]
Worked out exercises and produced graphs per sub group
[Task 4].
Clear table containing work and hour distributions of all

Theoretical background of drag

Let us first consider drag. The more drag an aircraft experiences, the more thrust is needed to
propel the aircraft. So, for an aircraft designer it is important to try to minimize the drag of an
aircraft. But what is drag, which components does drag have? In the next section only a short
summary on drag will be given. The related chapters in Anderson (2008) where more
information can be found, are indicated in the text.
Infinite wing
In the previous chapter the step has been made from an infinite to a finite wing, here we first
take a step back and consider again an infinite wing, the drag for such a wing consists of three
D D f D p Dw (1)

profile drag
D = total drag

Df = skin friction drag

Dp = pressure drag due to flow separation
Dw = wave drag

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

The wave drag can be neglected at

subsonic speeds, it only plays a role
at transonic and supersonic speeds.
The remaining drag components are
called the profile drag, because both
heavily depend on the shape of the
The skin friction drag (Df) is present
because the airflow over a solid
object creates a boundary layer. For
a detailed explanation, please read
the related Chapters (3.15 4.17) in
Anderson (2008) on viscous flows Figure 1: flow separating at high angle of attack
and laminar- and turbulent boundary

The final contribution to the drag comes from the separation of the flow over a surface. If you
look at a wing with a high angle of attack, it is possible the flow is not able to follow the shape
of the aerofoil and separates at a certain location (Figure 1). This separation causes a large
decrease in lift and an increase in drag and is something that should be avoided. More on
pressure drag can be found in Chapter 4.20 in Anderson (2008).

Measurements on drag of a wing can easily be done in a wind tunnel, but exact calculations are
much harder to perform. For the skin friction in a laminar boundary layer, there are formulas
from laminar boundary layer theory to calculate the drag. But for turbulent boundary layers
there is no such theory. Turbulent boundary layers and their drag can only be estimated by
approximate formulae, derived from experiments. Also, pressure drag due to separation cannot
be calculated exactly. Although it must be said that nowadays numerical calculations can
approximate the reality very well.
Finite wing
If we now go back to the finite wing, there is another contribution to the total drag. This is
caused by the fact that a wing is finite and that there is a pressure difference between the
upper and lower surface. Due to this pressure difference some air will flow around the tips from
the high pressure to the low-pressure side. This flow will create a circular motion that trails
down from the wing tips. This motion is called a vortex. Due to these vortices, the oncoming
flow of air near the wing will be tilted slightly down, this is called the downwash. This has two
effects, the angle of attack of the aerofoil is reduced, with respect to the undisturbed flow, due
to the downward component of the oncoming flow. The second effect is an increase in drag,
called the induced drag. This induced drag has at least three physical interpretations:

The vortices change the pressure distribution over the wing, which leads to an increase in
Due to the downwash and the change in stream direction the lift vector is tilted back
slightly. Therefore, a contributing component in the drag direction occurs.
The circular motion of the vortices themselves contain a certain amount of energy, which
has to come from somewhere and thus is a source of drag

More on induced drag can be found in Chapters 5.13 and 5.14 in Anderson (2008), please study
this carefully. The derivation of the formula for induced drag coefficient is given in Chapter 5.14
and will not be repeated here, only its final form will be given.

CD,i (2)

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

In this formula, the e is the span efficiency factor and is an indication how much induced drag a
wing has. For wings with an elliptical lift distribution this e equals 1 and it is smaller than 1 for
all other wings. Wings with elliptical lift distribution therefore have the lowest induced drag. For
typical subsonic airplanes e ranges from 0.85 to 0.95.
AR stands for the aspect ratio, which is defined as b2/S, where b is wingspan and S the total
wing area. So a slender wing (high AR), like a glider, has a low induced drag.
Another important conclusion that can be drawn from the equation is that the induced drag
coefficient varies with the square of the lift coefficient. This means that at high lift coefficients
the induced drag will be very significant.
To conclude, the total drag coefficient for a finite wing at subsonic speeds is

CD cd (3)
The total drag is defined as
D 12 V 2 SCD (4)

Figure 2: A practical NASA study on the effects of wing tip vortices

Theoretical background of longitudinal stability

If you have ever flown with a model aircraft, you will know that stability is a very important
issue. The best pilot in the world could not fly an unstable airplane without the help of an
autopilot. Although some fighter aircraft are made intentionally less stable to achieve high
manoeuvrability, your flying wing should be stable if you would like to fly with it. In this
chapter, some basic topics concerning stability will be treated.

To get some insides into the longitudinal stability of aircraft, three concepts are introduced in
this chapter. Much more information on (longitudinal) stability can be found in Anderson
(2008), other books in the library and on the internet. Although this subject is not an
aerodynamics subject, you should know something about stability to be able to make a good
design for your flying wing. Stability of aircraft will be further treated during the rest of your

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

Centre of mass
In general, the centre of mass (or when in a uniform gravitational field, the centre of gravity) of
a system of particles is a specific point at which, for many purposes, the system's mass behaves
as if it were concentrated. When the system consists of different particles, the position of the
centre of mass is only a function of the mass and relative position of all the particles. When the
system is a rigid body, the position of its centre of mass is fixed in relation to the object. But
because the mass within the rigid body may not be uniformly distributed, the centre of mass
does not need to coincide with geometric centre of the body.
The centre of mass is very important for the design of aircraft. The centre of mass must lie
within certain limits, because when it is outside these limits the aircraft may become unstable.

cp D

Figure 3: Typical position of Aerodynamic center, center of gravity and center of
pressure on a flying wing

Aerodynamic centre
Consider the pitching moment of an aircraft. For the aircraft to pitch, the forces on the aircraft
need to create a moment. This moment can be taken around any arbitrary point on the aircraft,
for example the nose of the aircraft, the leading or trailing edge of the wing. However, there is
a point on the aircraft around which the (pitching) moment is independent of the angle of
attack. This point is defined as the aerodynamic centre of the wing (Figure 3). The aerodynamic
centre is a very important point when considering the stability of an aircraft. More information
can be found in chapter 7.3 of Anderson (2008).
Longitudinal stability
Any vehicle moving in a direction and with a certain speed will be subjected to forces that will
change that direction and speed. If after such a disturbance the vehicle has the tendency to
return to its original direction and speed, the vehicle is called statically stable. If the disturbance
causes the vehicle to further change direction and speed, the vehicle is called statically
unstable. If none of the above happens and the vehicle doesnt change direction or speed, it is
called statically neutral (Figure 4). For aircraft, it is very important that they are statically stable,
otherwise the pilot will have a great deal of trouble keeping the aircraft in the air.

Figure 4: Illustration of static stability; from left to right: stable, unstable, neutral
Longitudinal stability is considered in this chapter. Longitudinal motion is the pitching motion
about the y-axis of an aircraft (Figure 5). If an aircraft is longitudinally stable a positive change
in angle of attack will create a negative pitching moment and will decrease the angle of attack.
There is a lot of information on the internet on longitudinal stability of flying wings. This is a
good website which offers you some more insight in the subject (http://mh-

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

aerotools.de/aerofoils/flywing1.htm), but you can of course also look for yourself or read
Anderson (2008) chapter 7.5.

Figure 5: Definition of the airplanes axis and the translational and rotational motions
(Anderson (2008))

Besides having longitudinal stability, the airplane should also be stable about its other axes.
This is called roll stability and yaw stability. These will not be treated here, but when you are
going to choose your final design and during the production of your flying wing, you will be
supplied with hints and tips on how to improve your roll and yaw stability.
Pitching moment coefficient
You should have done some more research on stability of aircraft by now and you should have
seen that the pitching moment coefficient is very important for longitudinal stability. For most
aerofoils this moment coefficient is negative and that has certain consequences for the layout of
your airplane. As you could have seen on the website mentioned before, an aerofoil with
positive pitching moment coefficient is preferred for a flying wing in order to create longitudinal
stability. This is very important to remember, as some exercise below cover this. You should
also remember this for the final design of your flying wing.


Task 1: Extend the excel sheet from the previous chapter so it can calculate
the total drag

In the previous chapter, you have created an excel sheet with which you can calculate the total
lift your flying wing will produce. Now you are going to extend this sheet, using the formulas in
this chapter, so it can also calculate the total drag. You will need some extra input variables and
others that are already in your Excel sheet.

Add the following input variables to your Excel sheet and make sure that it stays well
- Add the average profile drag ( cd ) [dimensionless]
cd = 0.03
- Add the average span efficiency factor ( e ) [dimensionless]
e = 0.95

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

Perform the following subtasks:

Calculate the aspect ratio (AR)
Now you have all the variables to first calculate CD [dimensionless] and then the total
drag in Newton.

To make the calculations not too complicated, you have been given a single average value for
the profile drag. In real life, this is of course not the case and the profile drag is dependent on
several variables, like the aerofoil itself, the surface quality, the lift coefficient etc. It should also
be noted that the selected profile drag coefficient of 0.03 is an approximated value. You will see
in later lectures that the estimation of aerofoil characteristics at low Re-numbers (below Re =
150000) is extremely difficult; both numerically and experimentally. Be aware of this and
remember that for now the profile drag is constant only to keep the calculations manageable.
Task 2: Incorporate thrust in the Excel sheet
Your flying wing will be powered by two small electro motors that drive two propellers. These
are the same as being used in model aircraft you can buy in the store. These engines are
powerful enough to fly your flying wing at 50% throttle. Measurements have shown that these
propellers give approximately 15 gr. of thrust in total. This is the maximum value (full throttle)
in cruise flight. The thrust can be significantly different. For example, when the batteries are
not fully charged, the propellers are not optimally mounted, or the thrust is influenced by other
external variables.

For now, it is important that you include the thrust in your Excel sheet, so that you can
compare the amount of thrust with the amount of drag to see if your flying wing will be able to
Task 3: Exercises

3.1 For the two wings in Task 8 of Lift and Weight calculate the total drag using your Excel
sheet. Check your results. Is the difference between the two wings in the same order as
it was for the lift? Why or why not? Try to explain which parameters influence drag.

3.2 If you look at the equation for induced drag, you see that there are two ways to control
the induced drag. Either you lower the lift coefficient, but if you lower it too much, you
will not be able to fly. The other thing you can do is to increase your aspect ratio. You
can see this effect in glider planes, these have very slender wing to decrease the drag.
Why isnt the same being applied to commercial aircraft? Mention at least three issues in
different areas.

3.3 Estimate the wing span of a Boeing 747 if it would have the same aspect ratio as a
glider (take AR=20), but still produced the same amount of lift. Use calculations to
demonstrate your estimation.

3.4 The Cessna Cardinal, a single-engine light plane, has a wing area of 16.2 m2 and an
aspect ratio of 7.31. Assume the span efficiency factor is 0.62. If the airplane is flying at
standard sea-level conditions with a velocity of 251 km/h, what is the induced drag
when the total weight is 9800N?
How much is the induced drag when the considered Cessna is flying at stall speed, flaps
down at sea level (85.5 km/h)? (Question 5.21 and 5.22 from Anderson (2008))

3.5 Consider a finite wing with an area of 21.5m2 and an aspect ratio of 5 (this is comparable
to the wing on a Gates Learjet, an executive twin-jet). Assume the wing has an NACA
65-210 aerofoil, a span efficiency factor of 0.9, and a profile drag coefficient of 0.004. If
the wing is at 6 angle of attack, calculate CL and CD .
(Question 5.23 from Anderson (2008))

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

Task 4: Exercises

How is in a conventional airplane the longitudinal stability achieved?

4.1 What problems with longitudinal stability arise when designing a flying wing?

4.2 How can these problems be solved? Focus especially on different kind of aerofoils. Also
make a free body diagram to show why certain aerofoils cant provide longitudinal
stability and others can.

4.3 Can a tailless aircraft be made longitudinally stable by applying sweep? Explain why or
why not.

4.4 How is a canard used to achieve longitudinal stability in a delta wing aircraft like the
Eurofighter Typhoon (Figure 6)?

4.5 Draw a swept flying wing in a (3-dimensional) body fixed reference frame and indicate
the following points
Centre of gravity
Aerodynamic centre
Centre of pressure
Also draw the weight- and lift forces and the moment coefficient around the y-axis at
the correct location. Use this figure to indicate how longitudinal stability is achieved.

Lift, weight, drag and lateral stability have been explained and questions have been answered
about these topics. The only force yet to explore is the thrust force. This will be explored in the
next chapter, closing the sequence of chapters on forces.

Figure 6: The Eurofighter Typhoon with its delta wing and full movable canards

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

TH Thrust
Your flying wing uses an electrically driven propeller for thrust and control. The amount of
thrust and power the propeller generates depends on the airspeed, the rotational speed, the
size and pitch of the blade.

For this practical the group will perform wind tunnel measurements on propellers powered by
an electrical engine, in order to create performance diagrams of the propellers. Additionally, the
measurement results will be compared to theoretical results which are obtained using the blade
element method, combined with momentum theory.

The student should be able to:

Learning Know the following parameters; Power available (Pa), Shaft
power (Pbr) and propulsive efficiency.
objectives Understand the relations between Thrust, propulsive
efficiency, Pa, Pbr and the airspeed.
Gain understanding in the effects of changes in key
propeller design parameters, such as blade pitch and
rotational speed, on the performance of propellers.
Use blade element theory to perform basic performance
calculations on propellers.
(15 min) Preparation and familiarizing with the theory.
Schedule (15 min) Divide the tasks over the group
(90 min) Do measurements in the wind tunnel.
(90 min) Work out the exercises (could be before tunnel).
(30 min) Discuss results.
Make sure that you write clearly on everything you
Deliverables hand in who has worked on it.

Propeller performance diagrams

o theory and
o measurement results
Answers to the questions of Task 3.
Clear table containing work and hour distributions of all

Please follow the instructions of the student-assistant/mentor during the wind tunnel
measurements. For the theoretical analysis, a brief explanation of the blade element method is
given below. However, you are encouraged to look up the given reference, or any other source
of information for more detailed information.
Task 1: Wind tunnel measurement
You are asked to produce: (1) Thrust vs. Velocity, (2) Power available vs. Velocity, and (3)
Propeller efficiency vs. Velocity graphs for the combination of propeller and motor used in the
test set-up. To do so, you can either record the values of the different variables by hand, or
input them directly into a program like Microsoft Excel, if you have a laptop available. The plots
are to be created for different engine settings, e.g. 20%, 40%, 60%, 80% and 100% of
maximum shaft rotational speed.
The parameters measured are the velocity [m/s], the thrust [g], the voltage [V], the current [A]
and the propeller speed [rpm]. Please keep in mind that some of the parameters need to be
converted to the correct units for some of the calculations.
The propulsive efficiency of a propeller is defined as the ratio of power available over shaft
power (Ruijgrok, 2009).

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

Pa T V0
j (1)
Pbr Pbr

In which Pbr can be calculated using:

Pbr M (2)

Where M is the torque [Nm] applied to the propeller and is the shaft speed [rad/s]. For the
motor used, the output torque can be approximated by rewriting the following formula (Maxon
Motor, 2008), see also Figure 1.

n n0 M (3)

Rotational speed n


n U>Un
M U=Un

Torque M
Figure 1: Speed-Torque line provided by Maxon Motor (2008)

Where n and n0 are the shaft speed and the shaft speed at zero torque, respectively. Their
units are in [rpm]. The units of are [rpm/Nm] and those of M are in [Nm] respectively.
Furthermore, the following relation is given (Maxon motor, 2008):

n0 U kn (4)

Here, U [V] is the applied voltage and kn [rpm/V] is the speed constant.
Data for the motor, provided by the manufacturer, is summarized in Table 1, including the
constants needed in the previous equations.

Table 1: Motor data, supplied by Manufacturer

Maxon Motor RE 310007
Max permissible speed 12000 [rpm]
Stall torque 1020 [Nm]
Speed constant 369 [rpm/V]
8.69x103 [rpm/Nm]

As a final step, you are asked to calculate the maximum possible theoretical propeller efficiency,
by using the measured thrust. To do this you can use the momentum theory, as explained in

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

(Ruijgrok, 2009, p140-143). To obtain a value for the density, you can assume ISA conditions
along with the assumption that the wind tunnel is situated at sea level.
Task 2: Theoretical Calculations
The method you are going to use for the theoretical calculations is the blade element theory,
combined with momentum theory, as explained in (Ruijgrok, 2009, p140-143). The blade
element method is a numerical integration technique; meaning that in order to calculate the
thrust (=component of the lift) generated by a propeller blade, the propeller blade will be
divided into several smaller sections; each considered to have its own constant wing section.
Lift and drag of each element are calculated using two-dimensional aerodynamics. Next, the lift
and drag of all blade elements, are summed up (numerical integration) to obtain the thrust and
torque of the complete propeller blade. So instead of performing calculations on the entire
blade, which has variable chord lengths, variable twist, variable wing profiles, etc; we simplify
the blade by assuming that it can be modelled by several separate sections with constant
parameters. Of course, this means that we are approximating the actual thrust and that there
will be a difference between the calculated and actual thrust. This difference can be reduced by
increasing the number of sections. More on numerical integration techniques will follow in 2nd
and 3rd year courses. For more information on the blade element method and momentum
theory, please consult the book of Ruijgrok.

The data needed for this task can be found on BrightSpace in a file called slow_fly1.xls and
slow_fly2.xls. If your group is performing the theoretical calculations before doing the wind
tunnel measurement, use slow_fly1.xls. Alternatively, if your group has already done the wind
tunnel measurement, use slow_fly2.xls.

Figure 2: Propeller blade section (Ruijgrok, 2009)

To begin with the blade element method, the propeller blade should be divided into separate
sections, as shown in Figure 2. The section location and width can be found in the excel file.

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

Figure 3: Section Angles, Velocities and Forces (Ruijgrok, 1996)

Figure 3 gives an overview of the angles, velocities and forces for a section. It is possible to
calculate the induced velocity Vi by using momentum theory. However, the induced velocity is
a function of the thrust of the propeller whilst the thrust depends on the induced velocity. The
induced velocity can therefore only be calculated through an iterative process. For this task, you
can assume that the induced velocity Vi is equal to zero. Thus, the angle of attack , is equal to
the geometric pitch angle minus the flight path angle . Please also note that usually the
Greek letter is used for the pitch angle.

Calculate, for each section, the angular velocity (R), and the total velocity (Vr) for the
combinations of rpm and flight speed given in Table 2. As a next step, calculate the flight path
angle and the angle of attack.

Table 2: Combinations of rpm and flight speed

Rpm [-] Flight speed [m/s]
8000 10
8000 15
8000 20
10000 10
10000 15
10000 20

Now that you know the angle of attack, you can use the CL and CD data given in the excel file to
calculate the lift and drag for each aerofoil section. You may need to use interpolation to find a
correct value for the calculated angle of attack. Knowing CL and CD, you can now calculate dL
and dD for the sections by applying the standard lift and drag formulas to each section.

L cL V 2 S (4)
D cD V 2 S (5)

Here, S is the area of the section. Now calculate dT and dK for each section and then calculate
the thrust and torque produced by the entire propeller for all combinations of the flight speed
and rpm. Please note that you only calculated the contribution of one propeller blade. Can you
now predict how the thrust varies with flight speed and rpm?

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

On BrightSpace you will also find several Excel sheets with names starting with ThrustCalc. You
can use these to check if your prediction was correct. Please note that this program uses an
iterative process to calculate the induced velocity Vi.
Task 3: Compare results
Each group has measured different propellers during todays wind tunnel test and subsequently
has different plots. Todays final assignment is to present your plots to the other groups and
compare your results with theirs. Answer the following questions:

How do the theoretical results compare to the wind tunnel measurements? Can you explain
the differences?
What is the effect of changing the propeller pitch?
Does changing the diameter of the propeller have any effect?
Can you explain what the benefit of a variable pitch propeller is?
What is the main reason why variable pitch propellers are not always used in propeller
aircraft? Can you think of another reason to use a fixed pitch propeller?

Next time
Up to this point the focus was on forces on an aircraft and how an aircraft is able to overcome
its own weight and gravity and how it propels itself forward. The calculations performed in the
previous chapters are all regarded to a 2D configuration of an aircraft. However, in real life, it is
not in two dimensions, but in three dimensions. For 3D experiment will be carried out at the big
wind tunnel facility in building 64. Make sure you have read it thoroughly!

Maxon Motor 2008, Maxon Motor key information, Switserland, viewed 13th of August 2009,

Ruijgrok, G.J.J. 2009, Elements of airplane performance, VSSD, Second Edition, Delft.

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

PW Power
The power subsystem is a crucial element of any space mission. Requirements on the power
subsystem are, among others (Fortescue, Stark and Swinerd 2003):
- to supply a continuous source of electrical power
- to provide for average and peak power.
Most spacecraft use photovoltaic solar cells to convert solar energy in electric power. Their main
advantage is that they are lightweight and very reliable. This type of power generation works
well for satellite missions requiring up to 20 kW of energy (next-generation communication
satellite, Iida 2003) and have a lifetime of up to 15 years. Design issues include (Fortescue
Stark and Swinerd 2003):
the type of solar cell (e.g. silicon, gallium-arsenide, indium phosphide)
radiation environment (solar flares, Van Allen belts)
thermal environment (a solar cells output decreases with increasing temperature)
orientation of the solar cell (are the solar cells actively pointed towards the Sun?)
illumination (satellites in eclipse or solar cells in shadow; in these cases, the solar cells
become high resistors, effectively shutting down other solar cells on the same string)
degradation (what is the average power to be delivered at the end-of-life?)
In this exercise, we will focus on distance, orientation and efficiency. The power delivered by a
single solar cell will be measured for different voltages, distances to and orientation with
respect to the light sources (LEDs will be used as light source). Also, the efficiency will be
calculated. You will learn more about solar power generation in the course Aerospace Design
and System Engineering Elements 1 (AE1201). It is helpful to read Nelson (2003, .pdf can be
downloaded), chapter 1, up to and including section 1.4.3.

The student should be able to:

Learning Explain the influence of distance from the Sun on power
generated by the solar cell.
objectives Explain the influence of incidence angle on power
generated by the solar cell.
Explain the influence of power extracted from the solar cell
on the power generated by the solar cell.
Explain how to determine the efficiency of a solar cell.
(30 min.) Preparation and familiarizing with the theory.
Schedule (180 min.) 1 morning/afternoon for each instruction group
of 40 students. The smaller project groups of 10 students
are split into 3 subgroups of two or three students per set-
(30 min.) The last half hour of the project session will be
used to present the results to the other group members.
Make sure that you write clearly on everything you
Deliverables hand in who has worked on it.

I-V curve for varying distance in Excel.

I-V curve for varying incidence angle in Excel.
Numerical results for maximum power vs distance.
Numerical results for maximum power vs incidence angle at
fixed distance.
Numerical result for efficiency of this solar cell.
Report of [Task 4] answers.

Maximum power and Efficiency

The maximum power that can be extracted from the solar cell depends on the instrument and
other subsystems that are connected to the solar cell. A plot of voltage versus current (or I-V
Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

curve) illustrates this, see Figure 1. The

power is found as the rectangular area
under the curve, and the peak power point
is at the knee of the curve.

Given the solar energy that is received, the

efficiency of the solar cell determines the
available power per area of the solar cell.
The efficiency of the solar cell is defined as
(e.g. Nelson 2003 p. 12):



(1.1) Figure 1: Current-voltage (I-V) curve and

power-voltage curve.
where Preceived is the energy of the light SC: short circuit (no resistance),
that hits the solar cell. Factors that MP: maximum power,
influence the efficiency include (Nelson OC: open circuit (infinite resistance)
2003, chapter 2): (http://zone.ni.com/).
solar cell material (specifically, the
separation of the energy bands in the semiconductor)
energy spectrum of the incoming radiation
temperature (higher temperature decreases efficiency)
resistance losses inside the solar cell
reflection of the solar panel

Lumen (lm) is the international standard unit for luminous flux. In other words, it is a measure
of the total amount of visible light, emitted by a source. One lumen is related to the unit
candela as follows:

1lm 1cd sr

Or in words, one unit lumen corresponds to one unit of candela times one steradian. Where
candela steradian stands for the power times solid angle. A steradian or solid angle is used to
describe two-dimensional angular spans in three-dimensional space.
If a light source would uniformly radiate one candela in a full sphere (being 4), this would
equal to:

cd sr=1 4 12.57lm

In todays world, the unit lumen is frequently used in lighting and projectors. Since 2010, the
EU has forced manufacturers of light bulbs to primarily display the amount of lumens, instead
of the consumed watts.

Luminus Flux

As the unit of lumen already indicates, light intensity is not the same in all directions. So to
calculate the luminous flux, you will need to use the following integral.

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

As you can see the luminous flux is build up out of luminous intensity, position and direction


Figure 2: Set-up consisting of LEDs (left), solar cell on turn table (middle) and universal
meters (right).

The measurement set-up is shown in Figure 2. The light-source is an array of LEDs which can
be blue, yellow or white. The solar cell is built into a hard case. A metal cover (which is
provided) can be placed on top of the solar cell, partly shielding it from sun- and room light.
The switch on top of the case that contains the solar cell selects different resistors. In this way
different combinations of current and voltage are obtained. Take measurements at settings 1
through 10 to produce an I-V curve and visually derive the maximum power point, as described
in Figure 1. The current and voltage can be measured by the universal meters that are
provided. To measure voltage, set the meter to 2000 mV, to measure current, set it to 20 mA.
If an H appears in the display, measurements are blocked. Press HOLD to remove the block.
Please turn off the meters after measuring to save battery life.
Task 1: Distance
Vary the distance from the solar cell to the LEDs from 5 cm to 40 cm in 4 realistic (not
necessarily equidistant) steps. At each distance, measure the voltage and the current for
different resistors. Produce a graph of maximum power vs. distance in Excel. Pay special
attention the to graph(s) you produce! How would you compare different measurements?
Task 2: Incidence angle
What is the relation between incidence angle and power per unit area of the solar cell that
you expect? Vary the incidence angle (at constant distance, e.g. 40 cm) from the solar cell to
the LEDs from 0 to 80 degrees in at least 6 steps, and measure the voltage and current at each
angle. Produce a graph of maximum power vs. incidence angle in Excel.
Task 3: Efficiency
Calculate the efficiency as in equation (1.1) by using your own measurements for Pmax. For
Preceived you can use data from the manufacturer of the LEDs provided in Table 1, Figure 3 and
Figure 4. Figure 3 and Figure 4 show how the luminous intensity varies with respect to a
direction turned away from the LED, this represents the direction dependence or relative
luminosity. The values in Table 1 correspond to 1.0 or 100% in Figure 3 and Figure 4.
Note that equation (1.2) and figure 5 can also help you to find Pmax.
It will be necessary to make some assumptions or approximations.

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

Table 1: LED characteristics (NICHIA corporation).

luminous intensity
blue led 11000
white led 18000
yellow led 9200

Figure 3: Luminosity of the blue LED as a function of direction (NICHIA corporation).

Figure 4: Luminosity of the white and yellow LEDs as a function of direction (NICHIA

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

Figure 5: Luminous efficiacy of the eye sensitive spectrum.

Task 4: Presentation and discussion

Discuss your results and answer the following questions:
Are the I-V curves the same for all LEDs and solar cells? Why (not)?
Is the effect of distance and orientation what you expected to see? Why (not)?
Do you find a difference in efficiency for the different colours of the LEDS? Why (not)?
Describe what you need to do to determine the efficiency for the solar cells in sun light?
Could you use a light meter to measure the luminance (unit: lux) to calculate the efficiency
of the solar cell? Why (not)?

Iida T 2003, Cost consideration for future communication satellite, Acta Astronautica 53, 4-10,
pp. 805-810.

Nelson J 2003, The physics of solar cells, Imperial College Press, London, England.
(most of the material of the book is available on google books, and a pdf of the first two
chapters is available at: http://www.worldscibooks.com/physics/p276.html.

Schubert E F 2003, Light-emitting diodes, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge England.

(limited preview is available on google books).
Slides for lecture notes available on: http://www.ecse.rpi.edu/~schubert/Light-Emitting-Diodes-

http://www.gizmology.net/LEDs.htm (computation of solid angle)

Fortescue P, Stark J & Swinerd G 2003, Spacecraft System Engineering 3rd Ed., John Wiley and
Sons, Chichester.

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

3D Execution of 3D Wind Tunnel Experiment on a Swept

Of course, a real flying wing is 3D, not 2D. During this part of the project you will perform wind
tunnel measurements on a typical swept wing set up in a low speed wind tunnel. From the
forces that will be measured using a 6-component external balance, you will analyse the most
important aerodynamic characteristics: C L , CD and Cm . Furthermore, typical flow phenomena,
like vortex formation and flow separation that occur throughout the range of angles of attack,
will be shown and discussed. Additional information about the tests will be provided on a
separate hand-out.

The results for the wind tunnel are measured by a 6-component external balance and the
output of the balance was forces and moments in Newton and Newton-meters. There is
physically nothing wrong in expressing forces and moments in these units, but for you as
aerospace engineer there are more convenient units or coefficients. For the second part of this
day you will convert the measurements in lift, drag and moment coefficients. Next you will plot
these coefficients and compare the measurements with your calculations in your Excel sheet.

The student should:

Learning Be familiar with wind tunnel testing on 3-dimensional
objectives Be able to identify flow phenomena on a 3-dimensional
swept wing.
Be able to demonstrate simple flow analysis techniques for
wind tunnel testing.
Be acquainted with lift and drag characteristics of a finite
swept wing.
Be acquainted with pitching moment characteristics of a
finite swept wing.
Be able to compare experimental and theoretical
(30 min.) Preparation and familiarizing with the theory,
Schedule including reading the related chapters in Anderson (2008).
(15 min.) Divide tasks amongst group members.
(15 min.) Preparation of the test and familiarization with
the test setup.
(45 min.) Conduction of the experiments. Part 1,
Determination of loads.
(45 min.) Conduction of the experiments. Part 2,
Presentation of typical flow phenomena.
(60 min.) Working out of exercises.
(30 min.) Discuss the results.
Make sure that you write clearly on everything you
Deliverables hand in who has worked on it.

Measurement report of the wind tunnel exercise [Task 1

and 2].
Worked out exercises and produced graphs [Task 3, 4, 5
and 6].
Clear table containing work and hour distributions of all

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

Theoretical background
Before the test can be accurately performed it is mandatory to familiarize yourself with the test
setup. For this purpose, a description is given of the wind tunnel, the model and the
measurement procedure.
Wind tunnel and balance
The wind tunnel that is used for this experiment is the Open Jet Facility of the Faculty of
Aerospace Engineering. This wind tunnel was officially brought into service at the beginning of
2009. Its layout is given in Figure 1. The use of an open jet makes this facility very well suited
for the aerodynamic research on models with large blockage like model wind turbines. Thanks
to its large test section that surrounds the jet, large groups of students can join experiments
very close to the model whilst the wind tunnel is running.






Figure 1: Overview of the Open Jet Facility (OJF)

The wind tunnel, which is largely build out of wood, is equipped with a 600 kW electrical motor
which drives a 3.2m diameter fan. Through guiding vanes in the corners of the channel, the
airflow reaches a settling chamber which contains 4 anti-turbulence screens and a flow
straightener. Through the contraction ratio (4:1) the airspeed is increased and leaves the
mouth into the open test section. The maximum air speed that can be attained is about 30 m/s.

The wind tunnel is operated from a separate control room next to the test section. Here, the
wind speed can be set and relevant flow parameters can be read from a dedicated wind tunnel
control program. In our experiment, some of the equipment will be read manually from within
the test section itself.

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018


Side View


angle of attack

6 component balance

support table
cross section

Figure 2: Wind tunnel cross section and side view of test set up. Dimensions are in mm.

The external balance is positioned underneath a reflection plate to prevent the air from washing
the balance directly. This balance is pre-calibrated and a separate utility is available to perform
the acquisition of the force data.

To determine the wind speed during the tests a Pitot-static tube is mounted in the jet which
gives a direct reading of the local dynamic pressure. Under normal circumstances the presence
of the model close to this Pitot-static tube may disturb the static pressure reading which leads
to an error in the dynamic pressure (and thus wind speed) reading. However, in our case the
wind tunnel is very small compared to the jet dimension and the pressure probe is assumed to
produce valid readings.
The model is a 30 degree swept wing constructed out of wood. It has been used in the past for
ground effect measurements in the low speed wind tunnel LTT. The layout of the swept wing
model is given in Figure 3 while the main characteristics are summarized in Table 1:

Table 1: Characteristics of swept wing model.

Parameter/Feature Value/Description
Span, b 1.2 m
Chord (constant), c 0.2 m
Wing area, S 0.236 m2
Sweep angle, 30
Aerofoil NA
Material Reinforced wood

The model is supported in the wind tunnel by three struts. The main front support members are
spared by means of an aerodynamic shield. The tail strut however is completely washed by the
wind. Please note that no correction for the support forces is applied which means that all
aerodynamic coefficients are disturbed. Since the thickness of the struts is rather small these
effects may be regarded as negligible for the moment. In later experiments, during forthcoming
projects, the support interference effects will be accurately considered.

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

Figure 3: Top view of the swept wing model. Dimensions are in mm.
The angle of attack of the model can be set manually by sliding the tail support up or down. In
case the wind tunnel is running at moderate speed angle of attack changes may be applied by
approaching the model carefully from the back.

Figure 4: Definition of balance axis system

6-Component balance
The forces and moments acting on the wing during the wind tunnel experiment have been
measured by a six-component balance. A detailed description of the balance can be found in
the hand-out OJF-balance-forces.pdf presented on the projects BrightSpace site under Course
Documents. In Figure 4 you see the definition of the balance axis system. Using this definition
of the axis and the measurements, you will be able to calculate the lift- and drag coefficient.
Information on the moment definition of the balance can be found on BrightSpace as well.

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

Lift- and drag coefficient

If you look at the definition of the axis in the balance in Figure 4 you can define the following
Fx Fx
CFx (1)
1 V 2 S q S
Fy Fy
CFy (2)
1 V 2 S q S
Fz Fz
CFz (3)
1 V 2 S q S

Which in words means that the coefficient of the force in x-direction is the actual force in x-
direction divide by the dynamic pressure times the wing area. If you now once again take a
good look at Figure 4 and remember that lift is always perpendicular to the free stream velocity
vector and drag is parallel to the free stream velocity vector, you can find the following
CFx CD (4)
CFz CL (5)

Moment coefficient
The moment that we are interested in now is the moment around the y-axis, also known as the
pitching moment. Like with the forces, you can also define a moment coefficient based on the

My My
CMy (6)
1 V 2 Sc q Sc
This coefficient is related to the moment around the pivot point of the model in the wind tunnel.
In the hand-out OJF-balance-forces.pdf a drawing describes how this pivot point relates to the
centre of balance. The measurements are made with respect to the balance centre as shown in
the hand-out. With this you can calculate the moment coefficient around the pivot point.
Test Matrix
The characteristics of the model will be determined in an angle of attack range between
4 and 20 for different velocities of V 10,15, 20 m / s to enable verification of Reynolds
number effects. For the analysis of the flow phenomena a wind speed of V 15 m / s is
Flow Phenomena
After the force measurements have been performed, some time will be used to visualize typical
flow phenomena. In case you need additional information on the given topics refer to Anderson
(2008) or other sources in open literature.

Figure 5: Generation of wing tip vortices (Credits: US Cent. of Flight, Civil Air Patrol)
Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

Tip vortices
Tip vortices are the result of flow washing over the wingtips caused by the pressure differences
between the upper and lower side of the wing (Figure 5). For more information refer to section
5.13 of Anderson (2008). The visualization of the vortices can be done easily using a probe with
a small wire at the end (called a tuft) of by placing a tuft grid in the flow directly behind the

lift increase due to leading edge vortex


no vortex lift


Figure 6: Effect of leading edge vortex on wing lift coefficient of a highly swept wing.

Leading edge vortex and vortex lift

Under certain circumstances (high sweep angle and high angle of attack), the flow may
separate at a wings leading edge to form a so-called leading edge vortex (LEV, see Figure 7).
Since the static pressure in and close to the vortex is smaller than the undisturbed (ambient)
pressure the static pressure over the upper surface leads to an increase in lift (Figure 6).
Whether the effect is found for the given model is to be determined in the case with the help of
surface mounted tufts and/or a tuft probe. In case vortex lift exists on your model this should
be clearly visible in the lift curve.
Flow separation
In case the local wing surface is inclined to a large angle the local adverse pressure gradient
becomes so large that the flow may separate. This separation process is not only determined by
the pressure distribution but is affected by the Reynolds number and the surface roughness of
the wing as well (refer to Section 4.20 of Anderson (2008) for more information). Although
many methods are available to visualize flow separation, the easiest way is to use surface
mounted tufts (Figure 8).

=0deg =12deg



attachedflow flowseparation
Figure 7: of a leading edge vortex on a highly swept wing at large angle of attack.
Figure 8: Visualization of flow separation on52 the upper side of a powered Fokker 27 wind
tunnel model using a line of tufts; LTT Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, TU Delft.
Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

Boundary layer transition

Boundary layer transition is a very important phenomenon as it determines the extent of the
laminar flow part on the model. The further downstream this occurs, the lower the profile drag
of the wing may be. Extensive information on this topic can found in Sections 4.15, 4.16, 4.17
and 4.19 of Anderson (2008).

To find the location of transition a stethoscope is used. It consists of a microphone positioned

directly behind a small tube that is mounted on a support. In case the stethoscope is moved
over the wing from the laminar into the turbulent part of the boundary layer a clear and loud
white noise is heard once the turbulent flow is reached. The stethoscope can be positioned in
the flow manually.

laminar flow signal turbulent flow signal

Stethoscope (microphone)

Figure 9: Stethoscope (microphone) for transition detection.


Task 1: Determining the loads on the model

Set the model in the given angle of attack range (steps of 2 ) and determine the balance forces
in x, y and z -direction. For the definitions of the axis system and the registration of the forces
refer to the hand-out OJF-balance-forces.pdf presented on the projects BrightSpace site
under Course documents. Since at a later stage the aerodynamic coefficient will be determined
(polar), the dynamic (reference) pressure should be noted for all data points. To calculate the
wind speed , the air temperature, Tair , and the barometric pressure, Pbar should be
registered. The monitoring table for all data may look as presented in Table 1.

Table 1: Sample table for the registration of model forces.

Date: Group:
Tair : Pbar :
Data point # () q ( Pa ) Fx ( N ) Fy ( N ) Fz ( N ) M y ( Nm)

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

To check the data, you can make a quick sketch in a graph. This will enable you to find out
whether the data set contains erroneous data points. In the next chapter the force data will be
worked further to obtain the relevant coefficients.

As noted earlier the undisturbed reference velocity for the flow can be obtained through:

V (1)

where the air density, , is found from the air temperature, Tair (in C ) and the barometric
pressure, Pbar (in mBar )with:

Pbar 273.15 15
1.225 (2)
1013.25 273.15 Tair

In case you need the dynamic viscosity of the air, , Sutherlands formula may be used:

273.15 Tair 273.15 15 110.4
1.7894 105 (kg / ms ) (3)
273.15 15 273.15 110.4

Task 2: Presentation of typical flow phenomena

Take a closer look at the flow phenomena after the force measurements are performed. Now,
try to draw conclusions on:

Tip vortices
Leading edge vortices
Flow separation
Boundary layer transition

To perform this task in a meaningful manner, incorporate the following steps:

1. Make sketches / figures in which you show how the tufts behave for given angles of attack.
2. Try to follow the tip vortex in stream wise direction, as far as possible. Sketch the path and
explain what happens at large distance behind the model.
3. Describe how the surface tufts behave when the angle of attack is changed. What happens
when you position your hand directly behind the model? Explain this behaviour.
4. Sketch how the boundary layer transition line behaves with changing angle of attack and
provide an explanation for this behaviour. What happens when small disturbance element
(transition strip) is positioned at the upper surface, close to the model leading edge? Does
this affect the local flow separation? If so, can you explain this?

Task 3: Exercises
After you have performed the task described above try to solve the following problems.

3.1 First calculate the Reynolds number based on the wing chord (in stream wise direction)
for the highest dynamic pressure that you used during the force measurement.

Compare this Reynolds number with the one that is obtained for a free flying wing
model with the same layout at V 30m / s and reference chord of c 0.25 m under
Mars standard atmospheric conditions.

What will be the effect of this difference in the Reynolds number with respect to:

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

The extent of laminar flow on both models?

The lift curve and the maximum lift coefficient?

3.2 Assume you could fly the free flying model up to a speed of V 220 m / s , by using very
powerful jet engines. What would happen to the forces on the model that were found at
V 20 m / s and 4 ? Provide numeric values (Hint: look at the so-called Prandtl-
Glauert correction. How does the drag coefficient change in this case?

For the conversion of the measurements you should split up in sub groups and equally divide
the work amongst the sub groups. To make the plots, every sub group needs all the data, so
make sure you all work in the same way and that the results are compatible and
Task 4: Convert the measurements into coefficients
The results from the 3D wind tunnel test need to be converted into coefficients using the
equations in this chapter and in the hand-out. Remember that you have to find the lift, drag
and moment coefficient for all angles of attack that were measured during the wind tunnel
experiment. You should use Excel to calculate the coefficients as you will also plot the
Task 5: Plot the lift-drag polar and moment coefficient graph



a CD
Figure 10: Example coordinate system such as need to be produced in task 2

To complete this, you need all the coefficients from the last task. Now, you have to plot the
lift coefficient and moment coefficient against angle of attack (in one plot) and in another
plot the lift coefficient against the drag coefficient. See Figure 10 for how the coordinate
system could be defined.

After you have produced the graphs you should look for similar graphs of the NACA0012
and the profile you have selected for the Martian airplane in LI task 6 on the internet or in
books (the NACA0012 has a similar shape as the wing you have tested in the Wind tunnel).
Now you can compare the graphs made from your measurements and the NACA0012 and
Martian airplane profile graphs from literature. What differences do you see and how can
you explain these differences (hint: look at the Re-numbers)? Pay special attention to
o The lift slope
o The zero angle of attack drag coefficient
Task 6: Compare your calculations with the measurements
With the Excel sheet you have been building up in the last few weeks, you are able to calculate
the total values for lift and drag. Now you have the possibility to check how accurate your
calculations are. To do so, enter the relevant input variables of the wing you tested in the wind
tunnel into your Excel sheet. Most of these parameters can be found in the previous chapter.
Next to that you also need the information from the lift slope (2.83 cl / rad ). You can assume
a span efficiency factor of 0.95 and a profile drag of 0.00735.

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

When you have entered all required input variables, you can compare the calculated lift and
drag with the actual measured drag. Do this for multiple angles of attack along the entire range
of angles of attack.

Answer the following questions:

Is there a difference between the calculated and measured values? If so, how big is the
Is the difference constant among all angles of attack?
How do you explain these differences?
How would you improve your Excel sheet to produce better results?

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

AD Aerodynamic Design
In these four hours you will finalize the aerodynamic design of your flying wings. Later in the
project you will do the final assembly of the flying wings and in the final week you will compete
against other teams in a flying competition.

As a project group, you will design and build two distinct flying wings, with different properties
that are the most important for the competition, such as speed, stability, manoeuvrability and
weight. Today you should split up your group in two sub groups; each sub group is responsible
for the design of one flying wing.

The student should:

Learning Be able to perform necessary steps to use experimental
data and theoretical calculations for a final design.
objectives Experience the relation between optimal aerodynamics and
production constraints.
(30 min.) Preparation and familiarizing with the theoretical
Schedule background.
(105 min.) Working out Task 1, 2 and 3.
(45 min.) Performing Task 4
Make sure that you write clearly on everything you
Deliverables hand in who has worked on it.
The mission requirements, selected aerofoil and wing
design (Table 1) together with a thorough explanation of
your choices, per sub group [Task 1, 2 and 3].
Review of the trade-off including your choices and final
design selection, entire group. [Task 4].

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

Theoretical background

Dimensional constraints
Your flying wing will be cut out from a block of special foam (EPP), with an automated wire
cutting machine. The dimensions of the block for the standard design are given in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Dimensions of the block of EPP

Each group will get two EPP blocks. One of the mentioned size, which can be used for the
standard design, and a slightly larger block, of 300 by 200 by 70 mm, which gives you more
freedom for your own design.

In Figure 2 a top view of the flying wing is given. Both halves of the flying wing will be
separately cut out from the block of foam, and glued together afterwards. One half of the wing
will be cut out from the top side of the block and the other half will be cut out from the bottom

Figure 2: Top view of the flying wing

The above procedure limits the thickness of your wing to 20 mm, the extra 20 mm
( 60 2 20 ) is needed for sufficient cutting space.

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

You must make a choice about the orientation of your wing with respect to the block. The two
(realistic) options are given in Figure 3.

Figure 3: Two possible orientations of the wing w.r.t. the block

You can see in Figure 3 that orientation A gives possibilities for a large chord length and sweep
angle, but your wingspan is limited to 300 mm ( b / 2 150mm ). Orientation B gives you a
maximum wing span of 600 mm ( b / 2 300mm ), but your chord length and sweep angle are
limited. Of course, you can also choose for a wingspan of i.e. 500 mm, by using orientation B
and cutting a piece of the wing off yourself afterwards. Due to constraints of the wire cutting
machine, it is not possible to orientate the block at another angle than 0 or 90 (orientation A
or B).
Aerofoil selection
In LI you have produced the lift curve of the NACA0020 aerofoil, making use of measurements
done in the 2D wind tunnel experiment. Also, some calculations on a MH44 aerofoil were done.
Three important characteristics which can be found from a lift curve are the maximum lift
coefficient ( cl ,max ), the angle of attack at which no lift is generated ( L 0 ) and the lift slope
( dcl / d ). These three characteristics are used in your Excel sheet (LI and DR) to calculate
the total lift of a rectangular wing.

In Drag and Longitudinal stability you have learned that not only the amount of lift produced
by an aerofoil is important. The shape of the aerofoil also influences the longitudinal stability of
the aircraft. On BrightSpace you will find the lift curve and pitching moment coefficient graph of
three different aerofoils, including the NACA 0020 and MH44. For each flying wing, you have to
choose one of those three aerofoils, based on this data and what you have learned about
stability and lift characteristics.

In general, flying wings of roughly the size (and with about the same available power) that you
are designing have the following flight characteristics:
Airspeed ( V ): 3-4 m/s
Angle of attack ( ): 2-5

Know these numbers only give an indication of the range you should think of. The values will be
different for extreme manoeuvres/designs. But you can use these values for estimations during
your design process.

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

Task 1: Mission requirements

Before the design process can start you have to know exactly what you are designing it for.
Think about speed, manoeuvrability, stability, lift to drag ratio, etc.

Discuss your mission requirements with your team. Make a list with the most important
requirements on top. Explain for each requirement why it is (not) important.
Task 2: Select an aerofoil
Each team should select an aerofoil for their flying wing. Compare the four aerofoils and discuss
the differences within your team. Keep your mission requirements in mind.

Select one of the four aerofoils most suitable for your flying wing. Explain why you have
chosen this aerofoil, and why the other three aerofoils are less suitable. Mention lift, drag
and pitching moment coefficient in your explanation.
Task 3: Finalize your flying wing design
In this task, you have to make choices on the dimensions of the flying wing. Since the shape of
the aerofoil is now fixed, the thickness only depends on the chord length. Looking at Figure 2
you can see which parameters still need to be fixed: the wing span ( b ), sweep angle ( ), root
chord length ( croot ) and tip chord length ( ctip ).
Designing the flying wing (which means finding the ideal values for the four parameters) is a
complex process and cannot be prescribed in a few steps. The reason for this is that all input
variables influence multiple output variables, i.e. a larger wingspan increases lift, but also
weight and drag. Your mission requirements are the starting point of this process. Use the excel
sheets you have made in LI and DR to play with the dimensions and lift, drag, weight and
thrust. Keep the following things in mind:

The minimum tip chord length is ( ctip ) 65 mm.

Be aware of the constraints due to the dimensions of the block EPP. Make sure it fits!
Think about the influence of sweet and taper on the wing area, lift, etc.

In Table 1 you can find the variables in which you have to express your flying wing design. For
the wingspan, you must choose between orientation A (300 mm, Figure 3) and orientation B
(600 mm, Figure 3). As stated before, it is possible to cut a piece of the wing off afterwards to
adjust the wingspan, but for the cutting process you must choose between A and B. The sweep
angle ( ) en de root chord length ( croot ) are defined in Figure 2. The taper ratio is defined as
The last parameter which has to be filled in is the aerofoil type.

Table 1: To be filled in characteristics of the flying wings

Parameter Flying Wing #1 Flying Wing #2
Wingspan (300/600), b [mm]
Sweep angle, []
Root chord length, croot [mm]
Taper ratio, [dimensionless]

Fill in Table 1 with the characteristics of the final designs of your flying wings.
Make a document in which you explain why you made the choices you have made.

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

Task 4: Trade-off
In engineering, it is very common to have multiple designs. In the end only one design can be
manufactured. A way of selecting which design suits best is a trade-off. A trade-off is a
discussion in which certain criteria get a weight factor, adding the grades multiplied by the
weighting gives different final results for different designs. The design that comes out best in
the trade-off is the design that will be manufactured by your mentor. Use the requirements as
written down in Task 1 as criteria and try to think which criteria are important and give a
reasonable weighting to it. Discuss with the group how well each criterion is fulfilled within the
designs and come up with the best design. Note: if the aspect of a trade-off is not clear try to
find examples on the internet or ask your mentor.

Your mentor will cut out your flying wing somewhere the coming weeks. This wont be done
during official project hours. If you want to help or have a look you can arrange this with your

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

RE Range and Endurance

When designing a large flying wing for a mission, the most important requirements are the
range and/or the endurance.

Today the group will be split up to analyse two missions, both performed on Earth, as well as
Mars. Suppose you are part of an exploration mission and are about to explore a large canyon.
Part of the team will remain at the base camp and a small exploration-team is going to descend
into the canyon. For communication, the teams are equipped with FM-radios which require line
of sight to work. To guarantee communication an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) is used as a
flying relay station. When the UAV is used for this purpose, endurance is the key-word, as it will
have to remain airborne for as long as it can.

For the second mission, suppose that due to a landslide, the trail back to base camp got
blocked off, which means that a different and longer route back to base has to be found. As a
result, the UAV reached its maximum endurance and had to return to base to recharge. Now
suppose that after the second launch of the UAV, communications cannot be re-established,
basically meaning that the exploration-team is missing. This makes the new mission of the UAV
one of search (and rescue). The goal: cover as much ground as possible (maximum range).

The student should:

Learning Be able to calculate range and endurance for a given
aircraft with constant aircraft weight.
objectives Understand the influence of design parameters on the
range and endurance of aircraft.
Obtain insight in the effects of environmental parameters
on aircraft performance.
(30 min.) Preparation and familiarizing with the theory
Schedule (150 min.) Divide into groups of two or three students.
Each sub group will then analyse a specific mission on a
Mars by performing the tasks 1-3.
(30 min.) Work out task 4
(30 min.) Discuss results.
Make sure that you write clearly on everything you
Deliverables hand in who has worked on it.

Results of task 1-3 per subgroup.

Results of task 4.

Suppose that the aircraft you are going to analyse was designed with the following parameter

Span: 3 [m]
Empty/Structural mass: 3.5 [kg]
Payload mass: 4.5 [kg]
Battery mass: 4 [kg]
Battery energy available: 800 [Wh]
Propeller efficiency: 0.79 [-] (assumed constant over range of cruise speeds)
Electric motor efficiency: 0.87 [-]
Equation for Pbr: Pelmotor [W] (Note that Pel here is the electric power provided
by the batteries)
Aero data: You will find an Excel file on BrightSpace containing the
relevant aerodynamic data (you may need to perform

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

calculations on the provided data to obtain the correct

Furthermore, the environmental data for Earth and Mars can be taken from the information
collected during your literature survey in the beginning of the project.
Also, to make the calculations easier, it is assumed that we can ignore the effects of a changing
environment and increases in speed on the aerodynamic data. I.e., the given aerodynamic
curves can be applied at various altitudes, speeds and even different planets. Please keep in
mind that in reality the aerodynamic curves depend on the Reynolds- and Mach number.
Task 1: Determination of velocity and altitude
Find the optimum combination of altitude and velocity to maximize (1) the range and (2)
endurance of your aircraft in the chosen environment. You may use a program like Excel to help
determine the optimum combination if necessary. Since the aircraft weight is constant, there is
one optimum flight condition which does not change during the mission. For these calculations,
you can therefore assume steady, straight, symmetric and level flight conditions. Furthermore,
it is noted that electric motors do not consume fuel in the traditional way. That is, the fuel
flow is zero, since the battery mass remains equal; instead, batteries have an electric energy
consumption. You will need to derive the new range and endurance equation. To do this, you
can follow the derivation presented in Ruijgrok (p283-287), noting that cp=1/motor and that you
are no longer integrating with respect to the weight of the aircraft.

Be sure to clearly indicate the steps taken in the calculations. Plot the optimum velocity as a
function of altitude. Does the optimum velocity change over time? Why/Why not? How far/long
can the aircraft fly? Neglect the power needed for the climb or descent.
Task 2: Effect of design parameters
Calculate the effect of doubling the following design parameters on the range and endurance:

a. The span
b. Battery mass (and thus battery energy available)
c. The payload mass
Thoroughly explain your results.
Task 3: Requirements for indefinite flight
Now lets assume that we wish to install solar cells on the wings of the aircraft. Calculate the
area of solar cells needed to allow the aircraft to operate indefinitely. Here you can interpret
indefinitely as continuously during daylight hours. Furthermore, the inclination of the sun can
be assumed constant. You do not need to consider operating the aircraft at night. Consider two

1. Using state-of-the-art solar cells with a total efficiency of 33%

2. Using the efficiency measured during the solar cell practical (In case you have not done the
practical yet, assume a total efficiency of 15%)

Indicate the steps taken in the calculation and indicate whether or not the number of solar cells
required can be installed on the wings of the aircraft.
Task 4: Compare results [Entire group]
Compare your results with those of the other students in your group. What are the differences
between the results on Earth and the results on Mars? What are the main reasons for these
differences? Do the results obtained for the missions on Mars seem realistic? Does it make
sense to use aerofoils, designed for use on Earth or on Mars? Why/Why not?
Task 5 (optional): Model aircraft
With what you know now, can you calculate the optimum velocity to maximize the endurance
or range of your model aircraft?

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

Ruijgrok, GJJ 2009, Elements of airplane performance, VSSD, Second Edition, Delft.

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

FE Flight envelope, climb rate and glide

The velocity and altitude your aircraft operates at influences your drag and thus your
performance. Fly too slow and you will stall. Fly too quickly, and you will not have enough
thrust available to maintain altitude.

During the previous assignment, you evaluated the optimum flight velocities and altitude for
either an endurance or a range oriented mission. Today several other flight performance
parameters will be analysed for the same aircraft in the same environments.

The student should:

Learning Understand which parameters influence the (thrust limited)
operating limits.
objectives Understand which parameters influence the Rate of Climb
and the glide slope.
(30 min.) Preparation and familiarizing with the theory
Schedule (180 min.) As for the previous assignment, the group will
be divided into groups of two to three students. Each group
will then analyse a specific mission on a specific planet by
performing the tasks 1-4.
(30 min.) Comparing the results and answering the
questions of Task 5.
Make sure that you write clearly on everything you
Deliverables hand in who has worked on it.

Thrust limited flight Envelope of model for the atmosphere

of the Earth or Mars.
Answers to questions of [Task 1,2,3 and 4].

As with the previous assignment, suppose that the aircraft you are going to analyse was
designed with the following parameter values:

Span: 3 [m]
Empty/Structural mass: 3.5 [kg]
Payload mass: 4.5 [kg]
Battery mass: 4 [kg]
Battery energy available: 800 [Wh]
Propeller efficiency: 0.79 [-] (assumed constant over range of cruise speeds)
Electric motor efficiency: 0.87 [-]
Equation for Pbr: Pelmotor [W] (Note that Pel here is the electric power
provided by the batteries)
Mission time: 2 hours
Aero data: You will find an Excel file on BrightSpace containing the
relevant aerodynamic data (you may need to perform
calculations on the provided data to obtain the correct

Furthermore, the environmental data for the Earth and Mars can be taken from the information
collected during your literature survey in the beginning of the project.
Also, to make the calculations easier, it is assumed that we can ignore the effects of a changing
environment and increases in speed on the aerodynamic data. I.e., the given aerodynamic
curves can be applied at various altitudes, speeds and even different planets. Please keep in
mind that in reality the aerodynamic curves depend on the Reynolds number and Mach number.

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

Task 1: Performance diagram

Plot Pr and Pa as a function of velocity for 2 different altitudes, i.e. sea/ground level and 1000 m
above sea/ground level. Determine the maximum Rate of Climb (also indicate this in the
performance diagram) at both altitudes, at what velocities are they achieved? What is the ratio
of CL/CD? Does this correspond with the theoretical value for the RCmax for a propeller aircraft?
Task 2: Flight Envelope
Here you are going to explore the performance limits of the aircraft. That is, the minimum and
maximum flight velocities will have to be determined as a function of altitude. Plot the altitude
versus minimum and maximum velocities. What is the thrust limited ceiling for the aircraft?
Please note that the limits derived in this task are performance limits. In practice, there can be
additional operational limits which cannot be exceeded.
Task 3: Glide slope
Suppose the aircraft suffers an engine failure at 1500m above ground level, calculate how far
the aircraft can fly (relative to the ground) with:

a) no wind
b) a constant tail wind of 10 m/s

To answer question b, you should derive a kinematic equation for the speed of the aircraft
relative to the ground first. This equation is a function of the airspeed and the wind speed.
Furthermore, it can be assumed that the air density is constant (equal to the air density at 750
m) throughout the glide.
Task 4: Influence of design variables
Repeat the previous 3 tasks for the same aircraft with

a. a span which is twice as large

b. a total mass which is 1.5 times as large

Thoroughly explain your results.

Task 5: Compare results [Entire group]
Compare your results with those of the other students in your group. What are the differences
between the results on Earth and the results on Mars? What are the main reasons for these
differences? Also discuss the results of the influence of the changes in design parameters as
calculated in Task 4. Which of the two changes has the largest influence on the performance

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

BT Building and testing the aerodynamic model

It is time to produce the flying wings! This section is a guide on how to produce the flying
wings. Please work carefully and precisely as all the parts are fragile.

Learning The student should:

objectives Be able to build a flying wing model.

Schedule (180 min.) Building of both flying wing models.

Deliverables Two flying wing models.

The following materials are present to build the wing:
4 wings cut-out of EPP
1 balsa sheet
Duct tape
Double sided tape

The following steps describe how the wing, using the proven design which was handed to you,
can be built. After you have completed the first wing, you can follow the same steps to build
your own design. The dimensions of the proven wing design are shown in Figure 1.

Step 1
The first step is to cut off a piece of each wing, to attach the outer part of the wing at an angle.
Figure 1 also shows where it should be cut off. Make sure to always cut away from you to

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

avoid injury. The reason that the last part of the wings is attached at an angle of 350 is to
increase roll stability. If you would make the entire wing dihedral, the yaw effect would cause
the wing to start pitching down whilst turning, as the centre of gravity is at the front of the

Step 2
Glue the main parts of the two wing halves together at the root. As the glue hardens very
quickly, avoid getting glue on your fingers and gluing them to each other or objects.

Use a wooden mould to attach and glue the dihedral outer side of the wing under the right and
same angle for both wing halves. Cut the end of this dihedral part slantwise, with an angle of
350, so you can glue it together with a flat connection.

Step 3
As we want the centre of gravity in front of the aerodynamic centre for pitch stability, the
engines should be placed as far to the front as possible. You also want the distance between
the engines to be large to increase the moment arm, as you use a difference in turning speed
of the two propellers to steer. The position of the engines is a compromise between these two

As the propellers are in a pull configuration, but the motors are fragile, the motor and
propeller must be integrated into the wing, even though the motor has to be behind the
When pushing the propeller onto the wing, please support the back plate of the motor, or
you will push the back plate out. If you do push the back plate out, please do not try to
push it back yourself. This is also a reason why the propeller should be mounted into the
wing as the back plate will tend to come out when the propeller hits something.
The distance between the holes should be reduced to about 120mm (60 mm from the
centre), or the wires will not be long enough. Please check the length of the wires before
The distance from the from the nose to the propeller cut-outs should be reduced to about
35mm to move the engines (and thus especially the centre of gravity) forward.
For your own design, you need to decide where to place the engines, but consider wire and
centre of gravity limitations!
The width of the hole should be at least 60mm, as the propellers are 56mm wide.
A 20mm long and 5-6mm wide cut out should be added to the cut outs cut outs in a T
shape, to fit the motors in (this should be a snug fit).
The motors should still be tilted upwards, but are now sunk into the wing and fixed with
black tacky tape.
A 5cm piece of Velcro should be stuck to the front centre of the underside to fix the battery
and the receiver.
Note that the total centre of gravity will have to be at about 20% of the average cord. This
usually means the battery must be mounted right at the front of the wing. Shifting the
battery position will change the speed of the aircraft (forward means faster) and influence
the stability. More forward (usually) means more stable.
The motor connector on the side of the battery connector should be on the left when seen
from below.
Please hand back the transmitter receivers and batteries at the end of the session. You will
be handed a new set for the flight test.

Step 4
Now it is time to attach the electronics, battery and propellers onto the lower side of the wing.
Be careful with these fragile electronic parts! Make sure you do not bend the wires close to the
circuit board! Again, we want to place the weight as far forward as possible. In figure 2 it is
shown where to put the electronics and battery.
The grey rectangle has a (green) circuit board attached on the other side. Two parts are
sticking out of the circuit board: cut away some foam to sink them into the wing. After this you

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

can glue it onto the wing, but only put glue on the plastic parts (If you put glue on the metal
parts the electronics might fail)! Use double sided tape to stick the battery onto the electronics,

Figure 4: Picture of engine and Velcro placement

so you can easily change the position of the centre of gravity by repositioning both at the same

Use tacky tape to fix the engines into the wing. Check with the transmitter whether the left
and right engine are correct and if the propellers are rotating in the right direction. Change the
engine connector if not.

To bind the receiver and the transmitter (only needed to be done once):
Connect to receiver to a battery
Wait till the led starts flashing quickly.
Push down on the left stick of the receiver and hold it down
Turn the receiver on and let go after three seconds.
View the video on this page: http://deltang.co.uk/rx31d-34.htm
There is also an instruction there on how to change the steering mix (default is 25%)

Now that your wing is finished it is time to test it and see if it flies properly! When you start
flying, you will probably notice that you only have to use little power to sustain steady
horizontal flight. If it then pitches up or down, you can adjust the thrust angle of the engines to
compensate for this.

You can now follow the same steps to build the second aircraft with your own design.

Two flying wings

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

M1 Mars Mission Design I

The project up to this point has focused primarily on aircraft (think about endurance and range,
longitudinal stability, and forces). The focus, however, of the course Introduction to Aerospace
Engineering has also been put on spacecraft. The next parts will be about a mission design to
take a closer look at the Hellas Basin.

Mars is home to giant dust storms, that start in a small region but can grow to planet-size
storms within days. In 2001, a giant dust storm was captured by the Mars Global Surveyor and
the Hubble Space Telescope (http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-
nasa/2001/ast16jul_1/). Dust storm season starts when Mars is closest to the Sun, but it is not
clear in detail how dust storms develop, with feedback mechanisms from temperature and
clouds (http://www.thunderbolts.info/tpod/2005/arch05/050324dustmars.htm). Recent
research focuses on how regional dust storms emerge in topographic basins (Hinson et al.
2012). Dust storms pose a threat to the life of spacecraft on Mars. They can double
atmospheric drag (Johnston et al. 1998), and reflect up to 25% of the incoming sunlight

It is also known that most dust storms start in specific terrain. The 2001 dust storm developed
in the Hellas basin, a 2300 km wide impact basin on the southern hemisphere. A solar airplane
could offer a closer look at the terrain of the Hellas basin and provide insight in the local
topography and composition of the surface. The objective of M1 and M2 is to design the solar
airplane and determine some mission parameters. There is no unique solution for the design
and iteration will be necessary to meet the requirements. The table below provides parameters
for the scientific payload and several subsystems.

Diameter of cylindrical 2.65 m

container containing airplane
Power for camera 6.5 W
Mass of the camera 1 kg
Power for communication 5W
(average over day and night)
Night duration 13.2 h
Effective incidence angle 45
Battery energy density 200 Wh/kg
Mass density of the solar cells 0.32 kg/m2
Chord 0.30 m
Electric motor efficiency 0.87
Propeller efficiency 0.79

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

The student should be able to:

Learning Produce a mission design within scientific
objectives Work in a team towards a design solution.

(210 min.) Working out of [Task 1,2 and 3]. Some tasks
Schedule can be executed in parallel.
(30 min.) Discuss and combine results.
Make sure that you write clearly on everything you
Deliverables hand in who has worked on it.

Answers to all questions, including calculations (equations

and numerical values) for [Task 1, 2 and 3].
The results should be presented in the poster to be
produced during M3.
Task 1: Launch configuration
For launch and successful delivery of the airplane to Mars, it should fit into a cylindrical
container with diameter specified in the table. Describe possible solutions to fit an airplane with
large wingspan in the container and derive the maximum wing span from these. Drawings of
the configuration can be used for the poster presentation (M3).
Task 2: Cruise flight
Calculate the power that needs to be delivered during the day (camera operating) and night
(camera not operating). At night, the power needs to be delivered by the batteries. Calculate
how much power needs to be generated by the solar cells (during daytime) for daytime
operation and for charging the batteries.
You can assume the following:
The mass of the structure (without solar cells, batteries and camera) is 0.25 kg;
The surface area outside the wings is 0.3 m2 (thus the total area is b c + 0.3m2);
The cruise altitude is 1500 m;
The Sun and the airplane are on the equatorial plane of Mars. The effective incidence angle
of the Sun is given in the table.
Calculate the surface of the solar cells, the mass of the solar cells and the mass of the batteries.
Use the efficiency for the solar cell that was determined in PW.

The efficiency of the propeller is defined as the power delivered to the airplane divided by the
electric power delivered by the batteries
Pbr Pel motor
Assume the power used by the propeller is 15 W. Is this sufficient for cruise flight? It will be
necessary to select a wing profile suitable for flight on Mars. For drag and lift calculations, you
can use the excel sheet developed earlier in the project.
Task 3: Iteration of the Design
Improve the design of the airplane so that the conditions for cruise flight can be met. Choose
from the following options: different efficiency for the solar cells or propeller, different wing
profile (CD and CL), different mass density for the batteries. Proceed by implementing one or a
combination of these improvements in the design and repeat the calculations in Task 2.

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

M2 Mars Mission Design II

To contribute to the knowledge of dust storms the following requirements for a solar powered
Mars mission are derived:

- collect 1 minute of video footage at 30 frames per second during daylight

- a ground resolution of 1 m is required.

The objective of this assignment is to complete the design of the solar powered Martian
airplane so that the science objectives can be achieved.

The student should:

Learning Produce a mission design within scientific
objectives Work in team towards a design solution.

(60 min.) dividing tasks and literature survey

Schedule (150 min.) Working out of [Task 1-5].
(30 min.) Discuss and combine results
Make sure that you write clearly on everything you
Deliverables hand in who has worked on it.

Answers to all questions, including calculations (equations

and numerical values) for [Task 1-4].
The results can be used in the poster to be produced in

Figure 1: Hellas Basin (http://en.wikipedia.org). Figure 2: topography model including

cross section of the Hellas Basin

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

Task 1: Resolution
Calculate the cruise height of the airplane so that the minimum ground resolution of the video
is achieved. Use data from heritage satellite instruments for the viewing angle of the camera.
(for example, see http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/imgcat/html/object_page/vo2_428b61.html). Is
this a reasonable cruise height? If not, select a new viewing angle and new cruise height using
reasonable assumptions on the aircraft's flight envelope.
Task 2: Transmitting the video
Design the orbit of the orbiting spacecraft so that the 1 minute movie can be transmitted from
the solar powered airplane to the orbiting spacecraft during each orbit, with an antenna that
can handle a bit rate of 200 kbit/s. Assume that the resolution is 720x480 pixels, the colour
depth is 24 bits per pixel and MPEG2 compression is used for the movie.
Start by assuming a certain orbit height and calculate the contact time between the airplane
and the orbiting spacecraft taking into account the rotation of Mars. Calculate the bit rate after
compression when the airplane is in contact with the orbiting spacecraft.
If the bit rate is too high for the antenna, lower the bit rate by adjusting one of the parameters
and discuss the effect of this adjustment. Note that other mission requirements for the satellite
impose a maximum altitude below the orbit of Phobos.
Task 3: Dust storm
Calculate how long it takes to cover the area in figure 1 by the airplane. When the airplane flies
through a dust storm, the solar flux reduces by 25% and the aerodynamic drag doubles.
Calculate how long it takes before the batteries run out. Assume steady, straight, symmetric
and level flight conditions.
Task 4: Rate of climb
The centre of Hellas Basin is 7 km deep, see Figure 2. Can the airplane fly across the crater
while maintaining the same ground resolution?
Task 5: Deployment
Describe how the airplane can be brought from the spacecraft orbit height found (assumed) in
Task 2 down to the flying altitude calculated in Task 1. Quantitative simulations are not required,
but the scientific literature should be consulted.


Fortescue P, Stark J & Swinerd G 2003, Spacecraft System Engineering 3rd Ed., John Wiley and
Sons, Chichester.

Johnston, M.D., Esposito, P. B., Alwar, V., Demcak, S. W., Graat, E. J., Mase, R. A., Mars Global
Surveyor Aerobraking at Mars, 1998. AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting, Paper AAS 98-
112, Monterey, CA.

Jon D. Pelletier, Kelly J. Kolb, Alfred S. McEwen, and Randy L. Kirk,

Recent bright gully deposits on Mars; wet or dry flow? 2008. Geology, 36(3):211-214.

Hinson, D.P., Wang, H. & Smith, M.D, A multi-year survey of dynamics near the surface in the
northern hemisphere of Mars: Short-period baroclinic waves and dust storms, 2012. Icarus,

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

M3 Mars Mission Design Poster/screen presentation

The design of a Mars mission (M1 and M2) is to be presented in a poster. Some parts of the
design were straight forward, other parts involved weighing several alternatives. The poster
should present the aspects that are most interesting in the design of the Mars airplane.

The student should be able to:

Learning Summarize the main items in the design.
Produce a poster with scientific content in an attractive lay-
objectives out.

(30 min.) Read instructions and examine template

Schedule (30 min.) Define and divide tasks
(150 min.) Work out parts of poster
(20 min.) Discuss and finalize poster.
(10 min.) Upload poster to BrightSpace
Make sure that you write clearly on everything you
Deliverables hand in who has worked on it.

Poster according to the template provided on BrightSpace,

uploaded to the groups file exchange.
Task 1: Poster/screen presentation
Some examples of what the poster could contain:
Text and images explaining the Mars mission design (wing area, power requirements,
power delivered, cruise speed, altitude)
Text on the design and how it meets the requirement of indefinite cruise flight.
iteration of the design to meet the requirement of the antenna bit rate.
Images of how the Mars airplane is folded in the launch cylinder.
Images of the flight pattern across Figure 1 or Figure 2.
Images of the deployment.

A PowerPoint presentation can be found on BrightSpace, containing instructions that have to

followed. Furthermore, a template is provided and the grading sheet is shown.

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

Appendix A Numerical Integration

Usually, the application of integration, involves the definite integral:

I f (x)dx (1)

Many techniques of integration have been developed, however not every technique can be used
in every situation. When trying to find an anti-derivative of f (x) , two obstacles can prevent
you calculating from I in this way:

1. Finding an anti-derivative of f in terms of familiar functions may be impossible, or at

least very difficult.

2. We may not be given a formula for f (x) as a function of x, for instance, f (x) may be
an unknown function whose values at certain points have been determined by
experimental measurements.

When values are determined by experimental measurements, we can investigate the problem
by approximating the value of the definite integral I using numerical integration. We can make
use of many methods for evaluating definite numerical integrals. For example: Upper and Lower
sums, the Trapezoid Rule, the Midpoint rule, Simpsons Rule and the Romberg Method.

For numerical integration, the Trapezoid Rule, as illustrated in Figure 1, is an easy and quick
way to make an approximation.

It is assumed that f (x) is continuous on [a,b]. Divide [a,b] into n subintervals of equal length
h (b a)/ n using n 1 points
x0 a
x1 a h
xn a nh b (2)

If the value of f (x) at each of these points is known;

y0 f ( x0 )
y1 f (x1 )
yn f ( xn ) (3)

the curve can be replaced by straight lines between the points of the small intervals (figure
A.1). The area beneath a straight line segment represents a trapezoid. Now, the first trapezoid
has vertices (x0, 0), (x0, y0), (x1, y1) and (x1, 0). The two parallel sides are vertical and have
lengths y0 and y1. The perpendicular distance between them is h = x1 x0. And the area of this
trapezoid is h times the average of the parallel sides:
y0 y1

x f (x)dx h 2 (A.4)

It follows that the original integral, I, can be approximated by the sum of these trapezoidal
y0 y1 y1 y2 yn1 yn

a f (x)dx h 2 2 ... 2 (5)

1 1
h y0 y1 y2 ... yn1 yn (6)
2 2

Project manual AE1111-I Exploring Aerospace engineering 2017/2018

Figure 1: The trapezoid rule

The sum of the differences between the areas enclosed by the curve and by the trapezoids is
the error made by this method. A much smaller error is given by Simpsons Rule, which will be
introduced in later courses in the first-year curriculum.