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A comprehensive review of vertical tail design

Fabrizio Nicolosi (Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Naples “Federico II”, Naples, Italy)
Danilo Ciliberti (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)
Salvatore Corcione (Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Naples “Federico II”, Naples, Italy)
Vincenzo Cusati (Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Naples “Federico II”, Naples, Italy)

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Publication date: 3 July 2017

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Practical implications

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.

Originality/value

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.

Keywords

Citation

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

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited