Journal Article

Scalable Parallel Approach for High-Fidelity Steady-State Aeroelastic Analysis and Adjoint Derivative Computations


G. K. W. Kenway, G. J. Kennedy, and J. R. R. A. Martins


AIAA Journal, 52(5):935–951, 2014



The NASA Common Research Model (CRM) has become a standard test case for verification and validation of Reynolds averaged Navier–Stokes computational fluid dynamics codes. In this paper we evaluate the suitability of the CRM for aerostructural and aeroelastic optimization studies. Since the CRM was originally intended for aerodynamic studies only, the undeformed geometry is not available. To address this issue, we designed a jig shape and the corresponding wingbox structure for the CRM using an inverse design procedure. The results are verified by computing the drag coefficient of the aerostructural solution with the jig shape at the nominal CRM operating conditions. The drag differs by less than one drag count relative to the CRM original shape. Using the CRM jig geometry, a sample high-fidelity aerostructural optimization is performed to determine the potential decrease in fuel burn for a long-range design mission when varying wing planform and airfoil shapes. The optimization increases the aspect ratio of the wing from 9.0 to 12.6 and reduces the fuel burn by 8.8%. We also perform a series of gust load analysis on both the initial and optimized designs and determine that the optimized structure is critical under gust loads. The aerostructural optimization produces a high aspect ratio wing with effective passive aeroelastic tailoring, but additional load cases with cruise-like lift distributions are required to produce a more realistic wing design.