Date of Award

6-2015

Degree Name

MS in Aerospace Engineering

Department

Aerospace Engineering

Advisor

David Marshall

Abstract

This thesis aims to uncover preliminary design relationships for an inlet of a split-wing electric distributed propulsion regional airliner. Several aspects of the inlet design were investigated, including: the overall thickness of the airfoil section with respect to the chord, inlet throat area, and lip radius. These parameters were investigated using several angles of attack and mass flow rates through the fan. Computational fluid dynamics, with a 2nd Order turbulence model was used and validated against World War II era data from NACA, as those studies were the most pertinent wind tunnel data available. Additionally, other works by Boeing, Empirical Systems Aerospace (ESAero), Rolling Hills Research, and the Air Force Research Laboratories (AFRL) were considered as part of this design tool tradespace. Future work considerations include utilizing an airfoil section designed for M = 0.6 or 0.65 cruise conditions as opposed to a symmetrical airfoil section, extruding the 2-D airfoil section discussed in this thesis for 3-D effects, and incorporating fan rotational physics into the simulations to better account for inlet Mach number effects.

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