High fidelity fluids simulations with seamless workflows to improve aircraft aerodynamic performance at real-world conditions

Design and certification of an aircraft are today heavily supported by simulation of the aircraft aerodynamic performance. Predicting the en-route flight performance and guiding the design is routinely done by standard simulation tools. However, current standard simulation tools fail to deliver reliable performance predictions outside of the aircraft’s design range and in icing conditions. The assessment of the take-off and landing performance, as well as of the behavior in icing conditions, massively relies on physical testing in wind tunnels and flight test. Long lead times of those tests thereby pose the significant risk of discovering design problems only late during the program. This in turn often leads to unnecessary safety margins in the design which reduce its efficiency. Today, most certification relevant flight conditions are outside the scope of current simulation technologies and consequently not accessible during early design stages.

The Aircraft Aerodynamic Performance process provides a unique set of solutions enabling the exploration of the aerodynamic performance in the entire flight envelope of an aircraft in both high-lift and cruise configurations and in dry and iced conditions. To efficiently obtain highly accurate solutions, different CFD methodologies are needed for different ranges of the flight envelope: Industry standard RANS solvers are ideally suited for cruise flight conditions. For more complex configurations with unsteady flow characteristics (high-lift, high-speed buffet, icing), the Lattice Boltzmann method provides an efficient solution of the transient problem. The solution for the Aircraft Aerodynamic Performance process contains all of these capabilities and is complemented by tools which allow the engineer to perform optimization and automation tasks.