Journal Article

Aerostructural Design Exploration of a Wing in Transonic Flow


N. P. Bons, and J. R. R. A. Martins


Aerospace, 7(8):118, 2020



Multidisciplinary design optimization (MDO) has been previously applied to aerostructural wing design problems with great success. Most previous applications involve fine-tuning a well-designed aircraft wing. In this work, we broaden the scope of the optimization problem by exploring the design space of aerostructural wing design optimization. We start with a rectangular wing and optimize the aerodynamic shape and the sizing of the internal structure to achieve minimum fuel burn on a transonic cruise mission. We use a multi-level optimization procedure to decrease computational cost by 40%. We demonstrate that the optimization can transform the rectangular wing into a swept, tapered wing typical of a transonic aircraft. The optimizer converges to the same wing shape when starting from a different initial design. Additionally, we use a separation constraint at a low-speed, high-lift condition to improve the off-design performance of the optimized wing. The separation constraint results in a substantially different wing design with better low-speed performance and only a slight decrease in cruise performance.