Assessment on aerodynamic degradation for wing-damaged transport aircraft
Menglong Ding, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Akron, Akron, Ohio, USA
Chuan Zeng, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Akron, Akron, Ohio, USA, and
Wieslaw K. Binienda, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Akron, Akron, Ohio, USA
Paper type: Research paper
Published: March 30, 2022
Wingtip loss is an existing type of transport aircraft hazard which is a real threat to flight safety caused by a missile strike, underwing engine explosion or impact with obstructions when performing near-ground operations. The primary effect of the wingtip loss is an asymmetric rolling moment, which may result in the fatal loss of control for the aircraft. This study aims to assess whether aerodynamic degradation will cause a wing-damaged transport aircraft to lose its balance under a certain level of wing damage and if a pilot can compensate for the loss of aerodynamic force and regain the balance of the aircraft.
In this paper, experimental and numerical studies were conducted to investigate the aerodynamic characteristics of a wingtip-lost transport aircraft in landing configuration. Various levels of wing damage including wingtip, slat, and flap loss were considered. The numerical simulations were performed with ANSYS Fluent. The computational fluid dynamics calculation was validated by wind tunnel tests.
The aerodynamic performance of the aircraft with the wing-damaged condition was presented. It was revealed that the wingtip loss leads to an asymmetric rolling moment and a reduction of the lift force, which affects the balance of the transport aircraft. The methods to compensate for the lift force and the asymmetric rolling moment were investigated for a safe landing. The lateral balance cannot be maintained in cases with serious damage on the wing (larger than 53% of the semi-span) or moderate damage on the wing with loss of slats and flaps.
The nonlinear results indicate the importance of aerodynamic assessment for the sake of training pilots to properly handle the hazard situation and explore the critical facts leading to the air crash.
Wing damage, Loss of control, Safe landing, Lateral balance, CFD, Wind tunnel test
Click on the thumbnails below to view screen dumps from the detectors used to examine the wreckage and seats from the Polish president's plane crash in Smolensk. An "X" denotes the presence of the detected explosive substance and its type. The underlined Polish word "Probka" or "probka" in the screen dump 1 and 2, means "Sample"
Why did they all fly on the same plane?
Synopsis: January 12, 2013, Toronto, Canada. The wife of the late Deputy-Minister of Culture Tomasz Merta: "What I am about to tell you now, are suspicions - and not even my own - but, rather the [suspicions of the] individuals in the inner-circles of the [Polish] military... I heard a statement that was made - but, I am not taking any responsibility for how credible, or not credible it is. [I heard that] had the generals and journalists' not been re-assigned to different aircraft, it wouldn't have been the Tupolev [Tu-154M], but rather the Casa [transport aircraft] that would have been taken out.
Because the Generals were no longer onboard the Casa, there was no reason for it to get airborne. And for this reason it was the Yak[-40] that flew off to Smolensk. This Casa [transport aircraft] was never examined in any way. It was not subject to any examination. Aside from a single note in the deposition given to the military, no one was interested why this aircraft didn't fly [to Smolensk]. Perhaps, this is someones crazy phantasy, but perhaps it isn't.
Some [Polish] military personnel had suggested, that it [the Casa] had to stay behind at the Okecie military [tarmack], so that the explosives could be removed from it - because they were no longer needed [...] I am only repeating what I was told."
"Disarming" Explosives ...
It is worth for us to retrace the entire process of "disarming" the case of explosive substances at the crash site. It all started with the publication of Cezary Gmyz in "Rzeczpospolita" on October 30, 2012, and information that the detectors, which were used by experts in Smolensk (in late September and October) showed traces of TNT and nitroglycerine.
As it turned out, the journalist was also reporting about the indication of Hexogen. The storm broke. The prosecution denied the publication, and ultimately, the editor-in-chief of "Rzeczpospolita," Cezary Gmyz and two other journalists lost their jobs. The entire editorial staff of one of Poland’s most popular weeklies, "Uważam Rze", was also silenced.
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