Design and Optimisation of Fuel Tanks for BWB Configurations

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Abstract

This paper describes assumptions, goals, methods, results and conclusions related to fuel tank arrangement of a flying wing passenger airplane configuration. A short overview of various fuel tank systems in use today of different types of aircraft is treated as a starting point for designing a fuel tank system to be used on very large passenger airplanes. These systems may be used to move fuel around the aircraft to keep the centre of gravity within acceptable limits, to maintain pitch and lateral balance and stability. With increasing aircraft speed, the centre of lift moves aft, and for trimming the elevator or trimmer must be used thereby increasing aircraft drag. To avoid this, the centre of gravity can be shifted by pumping fuel from forward to aft tanks. The lesson learnt from this is applied to minimise trim drag by moving the fuel along the airplane. Such a task can be done within coming days if we know the minimum drag versus CG position and weight value. The main part of the paper is devoted to wing bending moment distribution. A number of arrangements of fuel in airplane tanks are investigated and a scenario of refuelling - minimising the root bending moments - is presented. These results were obtained under the assumption that aircraft is in long range flight (14 hours), CL is constant and equal to 0.279, Specific Fuel Consumption is also constant and that overall fuel consumption is equal to 20 tons per 1 hour. It was found that the average stress level in wing structure is lower if refuelling starts from fuel tanks located closer to longitudinal plane of symmetry. It can influence the rate of fatigue.

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Archive of Mechanical Engineering

The Journal of Committee on Machine Building of Polish Academy of Sciences

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CiteScore 2016: 0.44

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.162
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 0.459

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