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Conceptual design synthesis of fighter aircraft

Tokel, Mert
The aim of this thesis is to analyze the effects of initial engine scaling (using a competitor aircraft aerodynamic performance) on fighter aircraft conceptual design activities. A design synthesis including engine scaling, configuration development, fixed aircraft analysis, fixed wing aircraft sizing and optimization methodology has been developed. Engine data has been scaled to match the competitor aircraft drag performance at the supercruise requirement. Initial configuration design including the system layout and external surfaces have been created around the scaled engine geometry. This initial computer aided design model has been called as design 0. Fixed aircraft analysis evaluation of design 0 has proven that a sizing process must be applied to any given configuration in order to create a model that is compliant with the mission profile requirement. Using optimization methodology with parallel computation capabilities, 1500 aircraft designs with unique wing geometries have been evaluated through the proposed design synthesis and pareto-front with the size of 100 design have been found. The Pareto solutions with non-compliant requirement qualities have been eliminated. From obtained set of aircraft, “best” design has been selected using multi-criteria decision analysis. Final design result has proven that the initial engine scaling has created a basis for requirement compliant aircraft design options. Multi-criteria decision analysis has been observed to be a useful process to determine the “best” aircraft among the set of alternative design solutions. Criteria weights have been assigned based on designer’s decision on the significance of each merit. Therefore, in order to select one aircraft as a reference, a subjective “best” design selection has been found to be acceptable.