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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology: An International Journal, Volume 84, Issue 1
Greetings colleagues. I do hope that 2011 has been a hitherto productive year. As we enter the final quarter of this year the time has come to launch Vol. 84 of the Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology (AEAT) journal.
If one reviews the technical contributions made in Vol. 83, I am very pleased to report the readership were offered, yet again, a stimulating array of technical topics. I feel the strength of the AEAT journal lies in the sheer diversity of specialisations it covers. Also, in a scholarly environment that emphasizes numerical experimentation it was gratifying to see that there existed a solid number of contributions that echoed the results of physical experimental research work. The highlight for Vol. 83 was a special issue (Vol. 83, No. 5) devoted to present a selection of peer-reviewed papers from Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Intelligent Unmanned Systems (2010 ICIUS), which took place 3-5 November 2010, in Bali, Indonesia. This now is the second time selected ICIUS papers have been published in the AEAT journal as a special issue, and I can state that the feedback has again been positive. It is my express wish that this tradition will continue; to this end, we are in discussions with ICIUS organisers for purposes of preparing another special issue for Vol. 84.
Something that has become a permanent feature for the AEAT journal is the reprinting of seminal technical articles from the past. On this occasion, Vol. 84, No. 1 contains an archived paper entitled “Structural problems associated with variable geometry: a review of the problems involved in the structure of variable sweep wings”, authored by Marvin M. Alexander, Jr, Vol. 38, No. 5, May 1966. This technical review paper enumerates the various structural problems associated with the integration of variable sweep. The concept of variable sweep is attributed to Edson F. Gallaudet, who in 1914 filed for a US Patent. The idea involved variable sweep of the outboard-wing region with intent to afford a means of roll control. Since 1949, a considerable amount of effort was expended for military aircraft development in an effort to resolve the low- and high-speed performance paradox indicative of fixed-wing and constant-sweep aircraft. Variable sweep can be considered to be one of the key antecedents to solutions sought by shape morphing researchers today. Using contemporary taxonomical conventions variable sweep would be classified as “Active Mono-morphing”, i.e. scheduling of localised uni-directional geometry changes. I have selected this particular paper because it signifies the idea is almost a century old and flying exemplars like the Pterodactyl IV (1931), X-5 (1951), XF10F (1952), F111 (1964), Su 17IG (1966), MIG 23 (1967), Su 24 (1967), Tu 22M (1969), F-14 (1970), B1 (1974), Tornado (1974), AD 1 (1979) and Tu 160 (1981) have suitably demonstrated that the benefits in aircraft performance and expanded mission role capability far outweigh any engineering and integration difficulties.
I would also like to take the opportunity of highlighting a very important topic which emerged as a result of the Aerodays 2011 Conference in Madrid, Spain. The European Commission (EC) unveiled an array of ambitious emission and noise reduction goals for implementation by the year 2050 going far beyond near-term objectives such as those espoused by the Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe (ACARE) in 2001. Although near-term objectives declared by the ACARE Vision 2020 with 50 and 80 percent reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxide (NOx) emissions, respectively, combined with 50 percent lowering of community noise have been adopted by the research community at large for a decade now, the EC with its so-called Flightpath 2050 agenda stipulates a reduction of 65 percent in perceived noise, 90 percent reduction in NOx, a drop in CO2 emissions of 75 percent, and, emission-free ground maneuvering. All quoted values are relative to the capabilities of typical aircraft in-service during year 2000. I have taken the time to raise this with all of you because the new EC Flightpath 2050 document will lay down the foundation for funding and orientation of future research activities addressing the near-term (around year 2020), intermediate term (around year 2035) and long term (year 2050) with regards to civilian aerospace.
In addition, allow me take a moment to reiterate what the vision is for the AEAT journal. I continue to urge all readers and authors to regard AEAT as a platform for disseminating innovative scientific methods, research and technology ideas. Having stated this, the mission statement is extended such that some thought and discussion is given as to how said ideas benefit the design, and/or, development, and/or, project management, and/or, the manufacture, and/or, operation, of current or future aerospace vehicle systems. Furthermore, in order to ensure perpetuity of high standards with the coming generations of aerospace engineering academics and professionals I also call on those working with aerospace vehicle design and analysis pedagogy to consider submitting articles that cover topics related to novel educational initiatives.
On behalf of the Editorial Advisory Board and Editorial Team, it is our express wish you find Vol. 84, No. 1 interesting reading. We look forward to receive your contributions in the future.
Askin T. Isikveren