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Abstract

Blended Wing Body (BWB) is a novel aircraft concept which provides many different aerodynamic benefits over conventional aircrafts design. This research investigated the BWB design, L/D characteristics, surface pressure distribution and span-wise lift distribution of a BWB aircraft at low to medium subsonic speeds. A BWB model was designed, manufactured and tested in a subsonic wind tunnel to validate the CFD simulation. The results gained from the investigation proved that BWB has a L/D improvement of 9.4% than conventional aircrafts and 21% increase at medium subsonic speeds (Mach 0.6) compared to lower subsonic speeds of 25 m/sec. It was found that the lift minimally increases between the two speeds; however the improvement is generated due to drag reduction. The drag reduction is accomplished due to boundary layer attachment for a longer period of time before separation occurs. It is this difference which generates the lift to drag ratio improvement.

Acknowledgements

The research was self-funded. The authors would also like to thank ANSYS for the possibility to use their software. The research was conducted in the frame work of Oliver Johnson engineering degree in Aerospace Technology under the supervision and direction of Dr Sam M Dakka

The authors declare no conflict of interests.

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