Taking wings

Optimus helped Fuji Heavy Industries realize 1.2% reduction in aircraft takeoff weight

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Wingtip devices are intended to reduce aircraft drag through partial recovery of the tip vortex energy. Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI) used Optimus to automate and couple FEM and CFD simulations to identify optimized winglet design configurations offering operational and environmental benefits.

Balancing aerodynamic benefits and weight penalties

Optimus realized a 1.2% reduction in aircraft takeoff weight for a typical mission profile at 1G cruise speed. It achieved this by balancing the aerodynamic benefits and weight penalties of a passenger aircraft model integrating wing reinforcement to withstand winglet induced loads.

Reducing drag, while respecting SIS airflow constraints

Optimus Design of Experiments (DOE) and Response Surface Modeling (RSM) capabilities helped FHI engineers understand up-front the impact of winglet characteristics on aircraft performance. Global design optimization enabled them to reduce the aircraft's cruise drag by 4% and its takeoff weight by 676 kilograms, while respecting the shock induced separation (SIS) airflow constraint.

Saving on kerosene

The structural penalty for this impresive drag reduction is 454 kilogram additional airframe weight. The 1130 kilogram difference between the increase in gross weight and the decrease in takeoff weight is the fuel that is saved with each flight mission. Over the entire lifecycle of passenger aircraft the winglets potentially airline companies millions on kerosene, contributing to a cleaner environment and a favorable air travel economics.

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