Aerospace at the Cutting Edge: From Drones to 3D Printing

commerical aircraft using ansysThe aircraft industry is an exciting place to be today. The media is full of the potential for commercial drone applications. But in the here and now we have large commercial aircraft on the market made from over 50% composite materials. These aircraft represent decades of innovation and will make a significant and positive impact on lifecycle cost of operation and the environment. You may recall that we recently shared a case study from Terrafugia where they discussed the integration of composite materials into the airframe of a car-come-aircraft. Along similar lines, EADS Innovation Works have shared details of their experiences with ANSYS composite material design tools. Continue reading

Readers Choice for Top 5 ANSYS Advantage Articles

I enjoy working on every article I coordinate for ANSYS Advantage magazine. I always learn something new while assisting ANSYS customers and staff tell their stories of excellence in engineering simulation. I have no favorites as I appreciate all of the articles. But, I decided to let our readers choose their top five, based on the power of downloading. The following are the most-read articles from the four issues (three regular issues and one special issue for oil and gas) of ANSYS Advantage published last year. All these stories have one thing in common: They feature robust and reliable design practices. Drumroll please …

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The Convergence of Drones and 3D Printing

images of dronesDrones have been in the news a lot recently. The near miss between a commercial flight and an unidentified drone in Florida has been broadcast around the world and has opened lots of questions about how the issue of drones in civilian airspace will be handled as the number of drones increases exponentially. This has spawned discussion regarding the safety of aircraft in the event of a collision with a drone. What is for certain is that the FAA have got their work cut out to ensure the safe management of the exponential growth of the drone phenomenon. Continue reading

Developing Drone Brain

You’ve probably heard about drones. And this blog will give you a deeper insight of what it takes to develop the brain that controls the drone!

First, some background. Piaggio Aero develops aircraft (first one in 1922) and engines. One of their successful project is the P180 Avanti II aircraft, which is a small Italian design. The P180 can fly at 745 km/h and has a range of operation of about 2,795 km. It is known as the fastest twin turboprop aircraft in the world with a proven uneventful service record of more than 20 years and 800,000 flight hours. Continue reading

Hybrid Aircraft with Distributed Electric Propulsion

Courtesy Mark Moore, Design Engineer at NASA Langley Research Center

Courtesy Mark Moore, Design Engineer at NASA Langley Research Center

Recently, when I attended the AIAA SciTech2014 Conference, I was impressed by a talk about electric aircraft, with a focus on distributed electric propulsion, presented by Mark Moore, a Design Engineer at NASA Langley Research Center. After returning from the conference, I started to read more about these concepts — especially looking for the benefits, challenges and most importantly to see how ANSYS simulation tools can help address the challenges.

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Simplifying Fatigue Analysis

iStock_failed wind turbineOne way to measure the effectiveness of engineering software is the amount of time it takes to reach a sufficiently accurate solution. Simulations by definition are an approximation of reality. Those who solve complex problems— using structural, fatigue analysis, CFD, electronics —  know that we have to pay for more accuracy with additional work and/or longer computing time.

Best in class software enables the user to capture the majority of work done, so it need not be repeated again and again, after all repetition is best done by computers. In this blog we will focus on fatigue simulation, which at first glance can be daunting to new users. There are several different solution methods that can be used with numerous additional correction factors available in most durability programs. There is a “best” combination of methods for most types of problems, which can be guided by experience and expertise. The ability to encapsulate the most appropriate method in a “fatigue workflow” as implemented in ANSYS nCode DesignLife is a major labor saving feature. Continue reading

Efficient Modeling of Fan Inlet Distortion

At ANSYS, we are continually improving our turbomachinery simulation capabilities. Some recent improvements are proving useful to engine manufacturers, enabling them to better understand the on-wing performance of their new fuel-efficient engines.

Fans in modern aircraft engines are very important in that they provide most of the thrust required by the aircraft. Their environment is very challenging though as they are frequently subjected to non-uniform inflow conditions. These conditions could be either due to flight operating requirements such as take-off and landing, the engine nacelle installation configuration, wake interference from aircraft fuselage or cross-flow wind conditions. Similarly, industrial land-based gas turbines in power plants can be subjected to inlet flow distortion due to upstream ducting or installation maintenance deterioration. Continue reading

Terrafugia: Developing a Flying Car – Engineering Challenges and Best Practices

Editor’s note: A special thank you to the Terrafugia Engineering Team for compiling today’s blog post.

From conceptual design to manufacturing, we use simulation tools such as ANSYS® Mechanical™ and ANSYS Composite Prep-Post™ to significantly reduce development time and costs. Our senior engineers, Mark Corriere and Nicholas Tucker, have been leading the analysis and simulation charge on the Terrafugia Transition® and have used this iterative process to increase confidence in the physical structure.

Image of Terrafugia Transition

Terrafugia Transition – example of a frontal load case analysis

This is a highly visible topic that we’ve found a lot of people are interested in learning more about, so we’ve teamed up with ANSYS for a webinar at 1pm ET, this Thursday, March 6th, to discuss the technical challenges and design process of developing the Terrafugia Transition®, the premier flying car. The Transition® addresses the limitations of typical general aviation aircraft by extending the multi-purpose flexibility of its driving capability. Continue reading