Dynamic maneuver loads calculations for a sailplane and comparison with flight test


This work presents the results of dynamic maneuver simulations of a sailplane and the comparison with flight test data. The goal of the effort is to extend and validate an in-house toolbox used for loads analysis of free-flying flexible aircraft in the time domain. The underlying aerodynamic theories are the steady vortex lattice and the doublet lattice method with a rational function approximation for the unsteady simulations in the time domain. The structural model comprises a beam model to represent the stiffness properties and a lumped mass model, both are developed using preliminary design methods. Steady aeroelastic trim simulations are performed and used as initial condition for the time simulation of the unsteady maneuvers in which the pilot’s commands, which were recorded during flight test, are prescribed at the control surfaces. Two vertical maneuvers with elevator excitation, two rolling maneuvers with aileron excitation and three aileron sweeps are simulated. The validation focuses on the comparison of interesting quantities such as section loads, structural accelerations and the rigid body motion. Good agreement between simulation and flight test data is demonstrated for all three kinds of maneuvers, confirming the quality of the models developed by the preliminary design methods.

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The authors would like to thank their colleague Gabriel P. Chiozzotto for providing the aeroelastic models and for valuable discussions.

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Correspondence to Arne Voß.

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Voß, A., Ohme, P. Dynamic maneuver loads calculations for a sailplane and comparison with flight test. CEAS Aeronaut J 9, 445–460 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13272-018-0300-9

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  • Dynamic maneuver loads
  • Flight test
  • Sailplane
  • Preliminary design
  • Aeroelasticity
  • Structural dynamics