Gurjaipal Matharu

Gurjaipal Matharu

Aviation Engineering BEng

Shape Optimisation of Microlight Wings

This new design of wings for Microlight is created with implementation of optimum wing twist mechanisms and installation of winglets to improve aerodynamic efficiency. The analyses of both an existing and the new wing design are discussed to compare the effect of an induced drag and also the performance parameters. The design cost is considered and also concerns the increase in the price of the Microlight after shape optimisation. The most important factor in the aviation industry about fuel saving is highlighted in the project. A relationship between cost input for new design and output benefits of saving running costs is discussed. The pilot can operate the twist angle at different conditions i.e. airspeed, wing loading with the use of optimum wing twist mechanism. This process is simple and also contributes to reducing the structure weight of the aircraft rather than having fixed wing twist. Blended winglets are used for Microlights due to their unique shape and less effect of interference drag. The installation process is also simple and less alteration is required at the wing tips of the aircraft. The implemented wing design, i.e. with wing twist and installation of winglets, has substantially reduced the effect of induced drag on Microlight aircraft over the existing wing design. Not only is there reduction in induced drag but the other parameters of the aircraft like range, power required, overall drag and L/D ratio have also improved which eventually improved the overall aerodynamic performance of the Microlight aircraft. Due to the improvement in the aerodynamic performance of the aircraft and most important due to lessened effect of induced drag; the fuel burn of the aircraft has dramatically reduced. As there is less drag effect, this means less output from the engine is required and certainly less power is required by the aircraft. As less power is required, the fuel burn by the aircraft is also reduced. The design of the new wing is made according to the airworthiness specifications with concern for weight limitations. The new wing design for the Microlight aircraft will inevitably have an effect on the price of the aircraft but, on other side, the fuel saving factor due to drag reduction will contribute towards saving running costs of the aircraft for the customers. The price of the Microlight aircraft is a one off cost, but for the customers the main consideration is about running costs. Taking this into account the long term effects of the new design will be useful for the customers because of lower running costs due to less fuel being consumed.