AADL Logo Advanced Aircraft Design Lab

Royal Military College of Canada


Our group expertise is in the areas of aircraft analysis and design, multidisciplinary Design Analysis and Optimization, and flight dynamics and controls.


Current Projects

Coupled Optimization of Aircraft Family Design and Fleet Assignment

The design of future aircraft takes into great consideration the current market requirements and future needs of potential operators. In spite of such efforts, the design of new aircraft and the assignment of these aircraft to a specific route in the operator’s network are loosely coupled. Current research focuses on closely coupling the design of a family of aircraft and the allocation of these aircraft in a route network and to examine the flexibility offered by such a family and the effects on environmental and economic considerations. [6] [7]


Design and Optimization of Non-Planar Lifting Surface Aircraft Configurations

The use of non planar wings allow aircraft to achieve performance superior to conventional designs without exceeding airport span constraints or deviating dramatically from the standard wing and tube configuration. Regional jet aircraft have been shown to be well suited to a box wing design which allows the horizontal stabilizer to be removed while maintaining static stability. Current research focuses on examining the multidisciplinary interactions in the design of such an aircraft for a range of operating conditions to determine of a box wing is a viable configuration for a commercial transport aircraft. [1]


Examples of various non planar wings and aircraft making use of such configurations

Trajectory Optimization and Control Development for Autonomous Soaring

Exploring optimal flight strategies and control algorithms to take advantage of different atmospheric phenomena such as thermals to gain altitude and save an internal energy in autonomous vehicles.


Trajectory optimization example of a glider thermal energy maximization climb

Numerical Optimization Algorithms Development

To support other projects different optimization algorithms and efficient optimization integration frameworks such as pyOPT are continously being explored and developed [9]. Of particulat interest is the development of algorithms for multi objective, constrained, discontinuous, non linear, discrete, and time varying design spaces; area in which the lab has developed different approaches including ALPSO, an Augmented Lagrangian Particle Swarm Optimization algorithm (now included as part of pyOpt). [5]


Example ALPSO optimization of Langermann function with dynamic constraint (feasible region on the right of the constraint)

Previous Projects

Aero-Structural Optimization of Non-Planar Wings

This work explored the aerodynamic and aero structural design optimization of non planar wings to maximize cruise range performance while considering different loading conditions as well as the effect of aircraft size and mission requirements. It was found that for medium range aircraft the optimal multidisciplinary solution was a wing plus winglet configuration when the total span is constrained, and a wing plus raked extension configuration when the span of the design was not constrained. In these configurations, the wing extensions provided a higher lift to drag ratio at cruise condition and tip loads were alleviated at the critical manoeuvre condition by shifting lift distribution inboard, hence reducing the critical load on the structure. When short range aircraft are considered a joined wing configuration is prefered as it allows for significant reduction in structural weight, while maintaining similar aerodynamic performance as compared to a conventional wings. For long range aircraft the trade off between aerodynamic efficiency and structural weight shifts towards aerodynamics were the best aero structural configuration was a C wing which provided significant reduction in vortex drag compared to a planar reference case as well as less area and lower viscous drag added compared to other non planar configurations. [3], [4].


Optimum Aero structural Configurations and Wing Loading for Different Aircraft Size and Mission Requirements

Conventional Aircraft Design for Minimum Environmental Impact

This research simultaneously optimized the aircraft and engine using a detailed steady zero dimensional thermodynamic propulsion analysis for several aircraft considering NOx emissions at landing and takeoff, fuel burn and direct operating cost, while including cruise Mach number and altitudes as design variables. It showed that low fuel burn designs benefit from high aspect ratio low sweep wings and fly at low Mach number and altitude. This trend is even more pronounced for minimizing NOx emissions at landing and takeoff, while low direct operating cost designs benefit from higher Mach numbers and hence higher swept, lower aspect ratio wings. [2]. Other efforts in this area included the improvement of current combustor chambers emission prediction models. [8]


Pareto frontier of multidisiplinary optimizations of aircraft designed for minimum fuel burn and NOx (left) and minimum fuel burn and cost (right)


We are thankful to the following organization for providing research funding:

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Ce site web n’est pas une publication officielle du Collége militaire royal du Canada ni du Ministère de la défense nationale