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Transformative Aeronautics Concepts Program

Advanced Aerodynamic Design Center for Ultra-Efficient Commercial Vehicles

Completed Technology Project
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Project Description

Test section in preparation for wind tunnel test

Led by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, the goal of this University Leadership Initiative (ULI) project is to demonstrate a viable aerodynamic wing-design concept that enables a 70% reduction in aircraft fuel/energy consumption relative to 2005 baseline for revolutionary and transformational aircraft configurations. This is being accomplished within a five-year project timeline to further the development and maturation of the slotted, natural-laminar-flow airfoil concept through both computational and experimental research activities. Evaluation of the impact of this advanced concept is being completed in all core areas of aeronautics, with specific consideration to aerodynamics, structures, propulsion, stability & control, and acoustics.

Research personnel for the Advanced Aerodynamic Design Center for Ultra-Efficient Commercial Vehicles is comprised of university faculty and students at six universities (Pennsylvania State University, Rutgers University, Texas A&M University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Wyoming, and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville) and two industry partners (Airfoils, Inc. and Boeing Research & Technology). In addition to the achievement of progress milestones toward the project's research activities goals (development of design/optimization software modules, fluidic oscillator configuration tool, slotted, natural-laminar-flow wing geometry, wind-tunnel data, various reports and documentation), this ULI project is highly invested in providing quality, meaningful research opportunities to graduate and undergraduate students within collaborating institutions. To date, more than two dozen college students have contributed on this project through research and educational outreach programming, which consists of the development and teaching of STEM-focused learning modules at local K-12 programs. as well as local Boys and Girls Clubs.

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