Design & Analysis of a Flying Wing

I made this video to show how to design and analyze a small flying UAV using my 3DFoil software.

I wrote this software several years ago using a vortex lattice approach. The vortex lattice method in the code is based on vortex rings (as opposed to the horse shoe vortex approach).  The vortex ring method allows for wing twist (geometric and aerodynamic) so a designer can fashion the wing for drag reduction and prevent tip stall by optimizing the amount of washout.  The approach also allows sweep (backwards & forwards) and multiple dihedral/anhedral angles.

Another thing I designed into the software is the capability to predict profile drag and stall.  The is done by analyzing the airfoil sections with a linear strength vortex panel method with a boundary layer solver and then using that information to predict the locations of the transition and separation points.

The software user interface is based on the multi-surface approach. In this method, the wing is designed using multiple tapered surface where the designer can specify airfoil shapes, sweep, dihedral angles and twist. With this approach, the designer can see the contribution to the lift, drag and moments for each surface.  Towards the end of the video, I show how the multi-surface approach is used to design effective winglets by comparing the profile drag and induced drag generated by the winglet surfaces.

Thanks for reading.  The video is available on Youtube.  The software can be found at ;

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  • Hi Hellcat74, I hope you are doing well.  Thanks for your comment.  XFLR5 is a nice s/w package. In this blog, I used 3DFoil to quickly compare the winglet drag components to workout a more efficient design.

  • Thanks but prefer XFLR5 to be honest and it's free.
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