Design of a medium range tactical UAV and improvement of its performance by using winglets

Turanoğuz, Eren
The study encompasses the design, performance analysis and aerodynamic improvement of the designed medium range tactical unmanned aerial vehicle. Main requirements are set as following; cruising altitute above 3500m, endurance of approximately 10-12 hours, range of 150 km and payload of 60 kg. The conventional design phase is based on the employment of historical equations and experiences. Nowadays, employement of well known equations and experiences during the desing process are not enough to reveal a competitive design. A new design must encompass a wide scope improvement processes in various aspects in order to compete in today’s UAV market. The focal point of the thesis is not only to desing a conventional UAV based on well known mathematical equations and experiences, but also improve it aerodynamically by using numerical tools. A typical aerodynamic optimization process includes relationship between various parameters, notwithstanding, the improvement study performed in the thesis is based on increasing the span efficiency. For the depicted aim, a multidisciplinary comparison of various wingtip geometries have been performed. In conclusion, the study offers a cost effective aerodynamic improvement process by reducing engineering time and complicated algorithms for an UAV.