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Home arrow Engineering arrow Small Unmanned Fixed-Wing Aircraft Design. A Practical Approach

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Design Brief

The conceptual design process described here starts from the design brief - essentially a broad brush mission profile - encapsulated in the following set of numbers.

Weight

At this stage in the design process it is not uncommon to only be able to provide an initial guess at the design gross weight. This may come from simply multiplying the desired payload weight with the payload fraction (payload weight divided by design gross weight) derived from looking at other aircraft designed for similar missions. In this case this “zeroth order” guess is:

In [3]: DesignGrossWeight_kg = 15

Take-off performance

In [4]: GroundRun_feet = 197

In [5]: TakeOffSpeed_KCAS =31 In [6]: TakeOffElevation_feet = 0

Cruise

The cruising altitude may be viewed in two fundamental ways. First, it may be a constraint - for example, due to regulatory requirements the aircraft may have to cruise at, say, 350 feet. It can also be viewed as a design variable, in which case you may wish to return to this point in the document and revise it as part of an iterative process of optimization / refinement.

In [7]: CruisingAlt_feet = 400

In [8]: CruisingSpeed_KTAS = 58.3

 
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