This work aims to deal with a comprehensive review of design methods for aircraft directional stability and vertical tail sizing. The focus on aircraft directional stability is due to the significant discrepancies that classical semi-empirical methods, as USAF DATCOM and ESDU, provide for some configurations because they are based on NACA wind tunnel (WT) tests about models not representative of an actual transport airplane.
The authors performed viscous numerical simulations to calculate the aerodynamic interference among aircraft parts on hundreds configurations of a generic regional turboprop aircraft, providing useful results that have been collected in a new vertical tail preliminary design method, named VeDSC.
The reviewed methods have been applied on a regional turboprop aircraft. The VeDSC method shows the closest agreement with numerical results. A WT test campaign involving more than 180 configurations has validated the numerical approach.
The investigation has covered both the linear and the non-linear range of the aerodynamic coefficients, including the mutual aerodynamic interference between the fuselage and the vertical stabilizer. Also, a preliminary investigation about rudder effectiveness, related to aircraft directional control, is presented.
In the final part of the paper, critical issues in vertical tail design are reviewed, highlighting the significance of a good estimation of aircraft directional stability and control derivatives.
Nicolosi, F., Ciliberti, D., Della Vecchia, P., Corcione, S. and Cusati, V. (2017), "A comprehensive review of vertical tail design", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 89 No. 4, pp. 547-557. https://doi.org/10.1108/AEAT-11-2016-0213
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