Esso Energy Award Lecture, 1987. Application of Aerodynamic Research and Development to Civil Aircraft Wing Design
In the late 1950s the aerodynamicists at what is now the Hatfield site of British Aerospace accepted the challenge and met British European Airways' demand for a 600 m.p.h. (ca. 966 km h-1) short-haul jet airliner (the Trident). The experience and organization resulting from that project was the cornerstone on which the subsequent success story of civil wing design has been built. The substantial advances in efficiency achieved by the Hatfield team in the following designs for the 125 Business Jet, the 146 Feederliner and for the Airbus Industrie family of Wide-Body. Mainline aircraft, has been supported by research programmes in the government establishments and universities as well as industry itself. Each project had its individual demands for fuel economy, high lift capability and structural efficiency, with commercial competition continually driving technological progress. The major highlights and achievements of the aerodynamic development programmes for these projects are reviewed. Turning to the present, the Hatfield team are currently working on the aerodynamic design for the combined Airbus A330/340 project. Technological progress continues apace with major investment in computational fluid mechanics, but the still essential role of experimental test techniques and facilities is emphasized.
Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series A
- Pub Date:
- March 1988