Aircraft Design Projects for engineering students by Lloyd R. Jenkinson and James F. Marchman PDF

Aircraft Design Projects for engineering students by Lloyd R. Jenkinson and James F. Marchman

Aircraft Design Projects for engineering students by Lloyd R. Jenkinson, James F. Marchman

There are many excellent texts covering aircraft design from a variety of perspectives.1 Some of these are aimed at specific audiences ranging from practicing aerospace engineers, to engineering students, to amateur airplane builders. Others cover specialized aspects of the subject such as undercarriage or propulsion system design. Some of these are quite detailed in their presentation of the design process while others are very general in scope. Some are overviews of all the basic aeronautical engineering subjects that come together in the creation of a design. 

University faculty that teach aircraft design courses often face difficult choices when evaluating texts orreferencesfortheirstudents’ use. Many textsthat are suitable for use in a design class are biased toward particular classes of aircraftsuch as military aircraft, general aviation, or airliners. A text that gives excellent coverage of design basics may prove slanted toward a class of aircraft different from that year’s project. Alternatively, those that emphasize the correct type of vehicle may treat design fundamentals in an unfamiliar manner. The situation may be further complicated in classes that have several teams of students working on different types of designs, some of which ‘fit’ the chosen text while others do not. 

Most teachers would prefer a text that emphasizes the basic thought processes of preliminary design. Such a text should encourage students to seek an understanding of the approaches and constraints appropriate to their design assignment before they venture too far into the analytical processes. On the other hand, students would like a text which simply tells them where to input their design objectives into a ‘black-box’ computer code or generalized spreadsheet, and preferably, where to catch the final design drawings and specifications as they are printed out. Faculty would like their students to begin the design process with a thorough review of their previous courses in aircraft performance, aerodynamics, structures, flight dynamics, propulsion, etc. Students prefer to start with an Internet search, hoping to find a solution to their problem that requires only minimal ‘tweaking’. 

The aim of this book is to present a two pronged approach to the design process. It is expected to appeal to both faculty and students. It sets out the basics of the design thought process and the pathway one must travel in order to reach an aircraft design goal for any category of aircraft. Then it presents a variety of design case studies. These are intended to offer examples of the way the design process may be applied to conceptual design problems typical of those actually used at the advanced level in academic and other training curricula. It does not offer a step-by-step ‘how to’ design guide, but shows how the basic aircraft preliminary design process can be successfully applied to a wide range of unique aircraft. In so doing, it shows that each set of design objectives presents its own peculiar collection of challenges and constraints. It also shows how the classical design process can be applied to any problem.

Case studies provide both student and instructor with a valuable teaching/learning tool, allowing them to examine the way others have approached particular design challenges. In the 1970s, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) published an excellent series of design case studies2 taken from real aircraft project developments. These provided valuable insights into the development of several, then current, aircraft. Some other texts have employed case studies taken from industrial practice. Unfortunately, these tend to include aspects of design that are beyond the conceptual phase, and which are not covered in academic design courses. While these are useful in teaching design, they can be confusing to the student who may have difficulty discerning where the conceptual aspects of the design process ends and detailed design ensues. The case studies offered in this text are set in the preliminary design phase. They emphasize the thought processes and analyses appropriate at this stage of vehicle development. 

Many of the case studies presented in this text were drawn from student projects. Hence, they offer an insight into the conceptual design process from a student perspective. The case studies include design projects that won top awards in national and international design competitions. These were sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). 

The authors bring a unique combination of perspectives and experience to this text. It reflects both British and American academic practices in teaching aircraft design to undergraduate students in aeronautical and aerospace engineering. Lloyd Jenkinson has taught aircraft design at both Loughborough University and Southampton University in the UK and JimMarchman hastaught both aircraft and spacecraft design at Virginia Tech in the US. They have worked together since 1997 in an experiment that combines students from Loughborough University and Virginia Tech in international aircraft design teams.3 In this venture, teams of students from both universities have worked jointly on a variety of aircraft design projects. 

Aircraft Design Projects for engineering students PDF

They have used exchange visits, the Internet and teleconference communications to work together progressively, throughout the academic year, on the conceptual design of a novel aircraft. In this book, the authors have attempted to build on their experience in international student teaming. They present processes and techniques that reflect the best in British and American design education and which have been proven to work well in both academic systems. Dr Jenkinson also brings to this text his prior experience in the aerospace industry of the UK, having worked on the design ofseveralsuccessful British aircraft. 

Professor Marchman’s contribution to the text also reflects his experiences in working with students and faculty in Thailand and France in otherinternational design team collaborative projects. The authors envision thistext assupplementing the popular aircraft design textbooks, currently in use at universities around the world. Books such as those reviewed by Mason1 could be employed to present the detailed aspects of the preliminary design process. Working within established conceptual design methodology, this book will provide a clearer picture of the way those detailed analyses may be adapted to a wide range of aircraft types.

It would have been impossible to write this book without the hard work and enthusiasm shown by many of our students over more years than we care to remember. Their continued interest in aircraft design project work and the smoothing of the difficulties they sometimes experienced in progressing through the work was our inspiration. We have also benefited from the many colleagues and friends who have been generous in sharing their encouragement and knowledge with us. Aircraft design educators seem to be a special breed of engineers who selflessly give their effort and time to inspire anyone who wants to participate in their common interest. We are fortunate to count them as our friends.

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