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Advances in Aircraft and Spacecraft Science
  Volume 8, Number 4, July 2021 , pages 331-344

Photogrammetry-based reverse engineering method for aircraft airfoils prediction
Mohammed A. Ba Zuhair

    Airframe internal and external specifications are the product of intensive intellectual efforts and technological breakthroughs distinguishing each aircraft manufacturer. Therefore, geometrical information characterizing aircraft primary aerodynamic surfaces remain classified. When attempting to model real aircraft, many members of the aeronautical community depend on their personal expertise and generic design principles to bypass the confidentiality obstacles and sketch real aircraft airfoils, which therefore vary for the same aircraft due to the different designers' initial assumptions. This paper presents a photogrammetric shape prediction method for deriving geometrical properties of real aircraft airframe by utilizing their publicly accessible static and dynamic visual content. The method is based on extracting the visually distinguishable curves at the fairing regions between aerodynamic surfaces and fuselage. Two case studies on B-29 and B-737 are presented showing how to approximate the sectional coordinates of their wing inboard airfoils and proving the good agreement between the geometrical and aerodynamic properties of the replicated airfoils to their original versions. Therefore, the paper provides a systematic reverse engineering approach that will enhance aircraft conceptual design and flight performance optimization studies.
Key Words
    aerodynamics; aircraft design; airfoil aerodynamics; conceptual design; numerical simulation; other relevant topic
Mohammed A. Ba Zuhair: Technische Universität Hamburg (TUHH), Institute für Lufttransportsysteme, Blohmstr. 20, 21079 Hamburg, Germany

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