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Abstract

The applicability of the vortex lattice method to the design of human powered aircraft is investigated. Aerodynamic data such as coefficients of lift, drag, and moment are calculated for the Gossamer Albatross using VLAERO+ã, a vortex lattice method commercial computer program, and compared to flight test data . The differences are analyzed and explained. Although the computations display similar trends to the experimental data, there exist discrepancies that can be explained by the inherent limitations of the method, such as being linear and inviscid. However, the program allows for certain calibration, through additive and multiplication factors. The Gossamer model, once calibrated, can be used with confidence for the calculation of aerodynamic properties and stability analysis for the range of Mach numbers between 0.016 and 0.0248, and angles of attack between -2 to 10 degrees.

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