3739. Rotorcraft Mass Assessment in an Integrated Design Framework


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Dominik B. Schwinn, Peter Weiand: 3739. Rotorcraft Mass Assessment in an Integrated Design Framework. 2020.



Mass estimation is an essential discipline in the design process of aeronautical vehicles. The maximum take-off mass determines most other design parameters and should therefore be estimated sufficiently precise from the beginning. In the conceptual design phase fast analyses are required in order to allow trade-off studies. In general, this phase is dominated by the use of analytical and statistical methods. At the end of this design stage, a basic external layout has been elaborated and basic design parameters have been determined.During the subsequent preliminary design stage, physics based higher fidelity methods are applied to further elaborate the design and to establish an internal configuration. The constantly increasing computational power allows comparably fast analyses in this design stage that may alter the configuration established in the conceptual design stage.Particular challenges in this design approach arise with unconventional configurations, such as compound rotorcraft, or with different propulsion systems to be integrated, for instance electric or hybrid systems, because of a lack of sufficient statistical data.The German Aerospace Center (DLR) has established the integrated design environment IRIS (Integrated Rotorcraft Initial Sizing) to allow an assessment of virtual rotorcraft configurations. It covers the conceptual and parts of the preliminary design stage and uses the data model CPACS (Common Parametric Aircraft Configuration Schema) for the parametric rotorcraft description.Component masses in IRIS are estimated using various statistical methods during the conceptual design stage. Finite Element (FE) methods are applied in the preliminary design phase to allow a more precise estimation of the structural mass which may influence the maximum take-off mass and therefore the performance characteristics calculated in the conceptual design stage.This paper introduces the design environment IRIS, and in particular the PANDORA framework (Parametric Numerical Design and Optimization Routines for Aircraft) which is used for the statistical estimation of the rotorcraft component masses and the structural sizing process to determine the fuselage mass.


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