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Commuter aircraft aerodynamic characteristics through wind tunnel tests

Fabrizio Nicolosi (Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy)
Salvatore Corcione (Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy)
Pierluigi Della Vecchia (Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy)

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Article publication date: 4 July 2016




This paper aims to deal with the experimental estimation of both longitudinal- and lateral-directional aerodynamic characteristics of a new twin-engine, 11-seat commuter aircraft.


Wind tunnel tests have been conducted on a 1:8.75 scaled model. A modular model (fuselage, wing, nacelle, winglet and tail planes) has been built to analyze both complete aircraft aerodynamic characteristics and mutual effects among components. The model has been also equipped with trailing edge flaps, elevator and rudder control surfaces.


Longitudinal tests have shown the goodness of the aircraft design in terms of aircraft stability, control and trim capabilities at typical clean, take-off and landing conditions. The effects of fuselage, nacelles and winglets on lift, pitching moment and drag coefficients have been investigated. Lateral-directional stability and control characteristics of the complete aircraft and several aircraft component combinations have been tested to estimate the aircraft components’ interactions.

Research limitations/implications

The experimental tests have been performed at a Reynolds number of about 0.6e6, whereas the free-flight Reynolds number range should be between 4.5e6 and 9.5e6. Thus, all the measured data suffer from the Reynolds number scaling effect.

Practical implications

The study provides useful aerodynamic database for P2012 Traveller commuter aircraft.


The paper deals with the experimental investigation of a new general aviation 11-seat commuter aircraft being brought to market by Tecnam Aircraft Industries and it brings some material on applied industrial design in the open literature.



The authors wish to thank the Design Office of Tecnam Aircraft Industries (Costruzioni Aeronautiche Tecnam) for the technical collaboration with the DII. The authors want also to express gratitude to Prof L. Pascale (former Professor at the same Department and now President of Tecnam) for many useful suggestions and interesting considerations in the analysis of obtained experimental results.


Nicolosi, F., Corcione, S. and Della Vecchia, P. (2016), "Commuter aircraft aerodynamic characteristics through wind tunnel tests", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 88 No. 4, pp. 523-534.



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