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Seaplane design analysis: Focus on structure factor optimization

PI Alberto Mello

In this work, a design optimization is being investigated considering possible hydrodynamic and structural advantages aiming to reduce the structure weight factor, with a trade-off between fluid dynamics and structural aspects.

Seaplanes are known to have mandatory design characteristics that lead to disadvantages in comparison to landplanes what limit their use as regular passenger commuters. The main design points to consider are that seaplanes have higher structure weight factor due to hull with its specific shape that creates higher drag than the fuselage of a landplane. They also have higher trim drag because of the need of placing the propellers far from the water surface. All these drawbacks reduce payload capability of seaplanes. In this work, a design optimization will be investigated considering possible hydrodynamic and structural advantages aiming to reduce the structure weight factor, with a trade-off between fluid dynamics and structural aspects, increasing payload capability. An optimized structure may lead to a more effective use of seaplanes as cargo or passenger commuters. A SEAMAX M-22 currently being assembled in the ERAU Research Park hangar will be used for result comparisons.

Research Dates

08/16/2021 to 07/31/2022

Researchers

  • Alberto Mello Jr.
    Department
    Aerospace Engineering Department
    Degrees
    Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin

Tags: Structures Optimization Modeling Finite Element Analysis Seaplane Structural Design

Categories: Graduate