New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge

Model of Aerodynamic Activity with Variations in Airfoil Design

Team: 86

School: Melrose High

Area of Science: Aeronautical Engineering


Interim: Interim:
Team Number:86 School Name: Melrose High School
Project Title: Model of Aerodynamic Activity with
Variations in Airfoil Design
Area of Science: Aerospace Engineering

Problem Definition:
Airfoil designs have been altered and improved throughout history to yield different results or qualities. Since the first flight and concepts over 100 years ago, we have evolved from bi-plane designs, such as the Wright Flyer, to delta wing aircraft, such as the Dassault Mirage III and Space Shuttle. While the airfoils in use today are efficient enough to allow for incredible speeds and capabilities, they are not efficient enough to imagine a world where commercial, military, or recreational flights could include time outside the atmosphere or in low orbit. Rockets are currently necessary for an aircraft to reach possible escape velocity (25,054 mph). If airfoils were improved to near perfect efficiency, a large jet engine would be very capable of propelling aircraft out of our atmosphere, and into orbit.

Problem Solution:
We plan to use NetLogo to model how present properties of airfoils, incorporating Bernoulli’s principle and air resistance, will allow for flight. This will simulate how the airfoil may move through an atmosphere. We will record data such as how many particles have passed under and over the wing as well as what kind of drag or friction is being created. A program simulating wind tunnel conditions will be used to further analyze airfoil designs that yield promising results in the simulation. We also intend to use the MATLAB program to compute large equations for complete mathematic accuracy in the simulations.

Progress to Date:
We have begun to analyze different atmospheric properties that will be subject to our simulations. Certain properties are being identified as most beneficial or most detrimental to the flight of the aircraft. Bernoulli’s principle, friction experienced, air resistance, and gravity will all be addressed. Work has also been done with the wind tunnel program. We have experimented with its many functions that will be helpful in this project. More work must be done with both programs to ensure a proper simulation.

Expected Results:
We seek to maximize properties that have been identified as beneficial or necessary to the flight of the aircraft, while minimizing the properties that will impede the airfoil’s motion through the atmosphere. If we are successful in this optimization of the flight process, efficiencies of airfoil design will be changed forever. Mankind will one day be able to travel between orbit, space travel, and atmospheric flight at will in nearly any aircraft. This project yields world altering implications if approached correctly.

Team Members: Brian Hemminger, Quinton Flores

Sponsoring Teacher: Alan Daugherty


Team Members:

  Quinton Flores

Sponsoring Teacher: Alan Daugherty

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