TsAGI has tested a half-model of a promising long-range aircraft

Photo by © TsAGI Press Service

The course for global import substitution in the aviation industry concerns not only the production of domestic spare parts and aircraft, but also the conceptual development of airliners of the future. One of the activities of the Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute is the research of promising aerodynamic layouts of mainline aircraft. TsAGI scientists focus on the development of a new integral layout and improvement of fuel efficiency of civil aircraft under development. The work is being carried out as part of the Integral-MS research and development programme.

According to the institute’s representative, as part of the solution to this problem, the specialists of the Integral Integration Centre have developed concepts for a long-haul aircraft, which, in addition to saving fuel, are aimed at increasing the useful internal volume of the airliner. To realise the new layout, scientists are looking for optimal solutions in the field of aerodynamic and engineering design.

At the first stage of research, specialists designed a semi-model of the studied layout. The next step was its manufacturing at TsAGI’s scientific and technical centre using additive technology. Highly loaded elements: the fuselage core and the wing console caisson are “grown” from metal powder, and the aerodynamic cladding, including the fuselage, leading and trailing edges of the wing, are printed from plastic. The use of additive technology made it possible to significantly reduce the cost of model production and speed up the production of an object with complex wing and fuselage geometry. In the future it is planned to “grow” the elements of the wing take-off and landing mechanisation using this technology.

The use of a half-model made it possible to conduct tests at Reynolds number values typical for larger models. In the course of aerodynamic studies, the methodology of testing of the half-model was worked out, the total aerodynamic characteristics of the layout in the cruising configuration of the wing were obtained. The influence of the nacelle and the main landing gear support on the aerodynamics was studied. During the tests, the angle of attack of the model reached up to 36 degrees, thanks to which it was possible to analyse the behaviour of the model at subcritical flight regimes.

“The experiments took place in the speed range from 20 to 60 m/s. The results obtained are in agreement with preliminary calculation estimates. At the next stages scientists will have to study the model with take-off and landing wing mechanisation, as well as with simulation of the propulsion system operation,” TsAGI said.