Review of Vortex Lattice Method for Supersonic Aircraft Design

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There has been a renewed interest in developing environmentally friendly, economically vi-able, and technologically feasible supersonic transport aircraft and reduced order modeling methods can play an important contribution in accelerating the design process of these future aircraft. This paper reviews the use of the vortex lattice method (VLM) in modeling the gen-eral aerodynamics of subsonic and supersonic aircraft. The historical overview of the vortex lattice method is reviewed which indicates the use of this method for over a century for devel-opment and advancements in the aerodynamic analysis of subsonic and supersonic aircraft. The preference of VLM over other potential flow-solvers is because of its low order highly efficient computational analysis which is quick and efficient. Developments in VLM covering steady, unsteady state, linear and non-linear aerodynamic characteristics for different wing planform for the purpose of several different types of design optimization is reviewed. For over a decade classical vortex lattice method has been used for multi-objective optimization studies for commercial aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicle’s aerodynamic performance op-timization. VLM was one of the major potential flow solvers for studying the aerodynamic and aeroelastic characteristics of many wings and aircraft for NASA’s supersonic transport mission (SST). VLM is a preferred means for solving large numbers of computational design parameters in less time, more efficiently, and cheaper when compared to conventional CFD analysis which lends itself more to detailed study and solving the more challenging configu-ration and aerodynamic features of civil supersonic transport.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages35
JournalThe Aeronautical Journal
Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 2023


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