When designing and analyzing new aircraft models, you can’t compromise on your computer-aided engineering (CAE) tools. Computational fluid dynamics modeling software (CFD) is but one of many tools you should have at your disposal. But the type of CFD modeling software you choose should depend on your particular project and your desired outcome.
Engineers who are designing, configuring, and analyzing new aircraft, as well as those who are updating existing aircraft models, have plenty of software at their disposal to drive results. Providers of such software may even offer assistance in using their product, such as demonstrations, literature, or ongoing software support.
Defense requirements have changed, with information and data taking precedence.
In the past decade alone, the United States and its allies have shifted priorities to combat new and emerging threats and maintain dominance in the air. Data, surveillance, and intelligence have become paramount to maintaining a strong national defense.
Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), have a long history in the defense space. Even before the age of aviation, unmanned surveillance and attack balloons were used in the fields of Europe. Modern UAS engineering has produced the defense and intelligence fixed-wing aircraft that most people recognize, as well as rotorcraft, satellite technology, and the many commercial spin-offs that are now popular all over the world.
Commercial aircraft configuration is an exercise in compromise between competing needs. Perhaps the most important engineering decisions occur when assessing what role each aircraft will play. But from the routes the aircraft will take to the cargo it will hold to the material each aircraft is built with, engineers are constantly searching for ways to make aircraft more efficient and aerodynamic.
From conception to implementation, commercial aircraft engineering is an enduring process that requires multiple levels of analysis and assessment. Every design has certain constraints and requirements. These constraints are built upon a number of factors.
If you’re making modifications to existing aircraft or designing new aircraft, you need a powerful suite of computational fluid dynamics software to support the development of your aerodynamic designs. However, you may not be able to analyze unique modifications properly with your software as it stands. New codes may be necessary.
If you need to test the fluid dynamics of your new aircraft designs, there are a few core pieces of CFD software that should be part of your repertoire. Naturally, the software you choose will depend on your specific problem. If you’re trying to collect data on a new rotorcraft design, you’ll need different methods than if you’re only testing a new winglet for airfoil.
It can be expensive and time-consuming to obtain the computational ability to conduct complete aerodynamic analyses. Whether you’re modifying aircraft, conducting repairs, or educating the next generation of aerospace engineers, you need the right analytical tools.
The need for engineering and design support services continues to grow. According to Boeing, there is a need for 39,620 new aircraft over the next twenty years. By 2037, there should be 63,220 aircraft in the world. Whether you’re designing new aircraft or modifying existing designs, you’ll need engineering services to support your program at multiple levels.