Purpose: The purpose of the present paper is to obtain the capability of designing modern rotorcrafts with enhanced accuracy and reliability.
Design/methodology/approach: Among the existing rotorcraft design programs, an appropriate program was selected as a baseline for improvement. It was based on a database comprising conventional fleets of rotorcrafts. The baseline program was not robust because it contained a simple iteration loop, which only monitored the gross weight of the aircraft. Therefore, it is not accurate enough to fulfill the quality and sophistication of a conceptual design framework useful for present and future generations of rotorcrafts. In this paper, the estimation formulas for the sizing and weight of the rotorcraft subsystem were updated by referring to modern aircraft data. In addition, trend curves for various turboshaft engines available these days were established. Instead of using the power estimation algorithm based on the momentum theory with empirical corrections, blade element rotor aerodynamics and trim analysis were developed and incorporated into the present framework. Moreover, the simple iteration loop for the aircraft gross weight was reinforced by adding a mathematical optimization algorithm, such as a genetic algorithm.
Findings: The improved optimization framework for rotorcraft conceptual design which has the capability of designing modern rotorcrafts with enhanced accuracy and reliability was constructed by using MATLAB optimization toolbox.
Practical implications: The optimization framework can be used by the rotorcraft industries at an early stage of the rotorcraft design.
Originality/value: It was verified that the improved optimization framework for the rotorcraft conceptual design has the capability of designing modern rotorcrafts with enhanced accuracy and reliability.
J. H. Lim, Shin, S. J., Dr. Laxman Vaitla, Kim, J., and Jang, J. S., “Development of an improved framework for the conceptual design of a rotorcraft”, Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology: An International Journal, vol. 86, pp. 375–384, 2014.