As you might know, I'm quite busy with getting an aerospace engineering grade. My Bachelor is virtually mine: I need to wrap up this "can't go wrong" project (which is quite some work though), I need feedback on one small exercise, and a professor needs to find a lost exam of mine ( ).
Anyway, between the Bachelor and the Masters, a large design period of 10 weeks is held. This can be about anything: every year, there are about 15 aerospace subjects.
The subject of the design group I'm in, is working on an "future large aerostructures transportation system". This means that we have to design an aircraft that can carry aerospace constructions up to the size of a Fokker 50 fuselage, tail or wing (17m*3.1m*3.90m cargo) over distances up to a Pacific crossing. (10700 km in the design phase). Takeoff length is limited to just 1500m.
After some serious trade off work, the group was split in a group redesigning the A319 with an extended Beluga-like cargo bay, and a group working on a canard concept. The canard was chosen because it leaves the tail end free of any surfaces, which is easy to incorporate a large cargo door. In order to work from short runways, a low wing (ground effect at take off) was chosen.
Anyway, I was the lead aerodynamics and stability designer of this concept, and hence the external layout was determined mainly by me(placing and sizing of parts; profiles were chosen together with the performance guru ). Of course the other design group members were very important as well: performance, which estimated the achieved range and takeoff length (among others) of my proposals; structures (which held my design within realistic proportions concerning construction ), materials and business groups. All together formed the CAT (Canard Aerostructures transporter) concept. It is called "CAT" because the wing/canard combination gives it a catlike frontal view (to us at least ).
Monday, this concept was thrown into the dustbin however, because it turned out the A319 did about the same job (the CAT had some minor technical and performance advantages, but nothing major) for much less money. As there is only a small market for these plane, the CAT concept was rejected. It is only a viable concept if this design is chosen as a technology demonstrator, giving way to future derivatives with a much lower design cost and extended expertise, allowing to optimize the canard technology as much as current technologies are optimized into the A319. As a technology demonstrator wasn't what the "customer" wanted, we went ahead with the A319.
So what you see below is a concept design of an aircraft which works and perform well in theory, but would cost more than an A380 per piece (20 planes world market)...
A nice detail is that the plane has flaps nor slats, because the canard surfaces take a large share in the lift generation.
Feel free to ask any questions/remarks!!
I've written this in little time, so it probably isn't too clear to all .
1280 resolution renders of the concept (the 2 renders above are included in 1280 resolution):
fully movable canards detail
engine details (A319 engine)
front view. Whiskers!!! ==> CAT
top view (above a well-known site!! 8) )
All the artwork presented here is done by me as well by the way, but I wanted to show the design in the first place. My graphics "artist" capabilities are less trained than my aerospace design capacities :wink: .