Conceptual Design of Wings and Tailplanes – Methods, Statistics, Tool Setup

Author: Steven Coene

Master Thesis


This Master Thesis deals with the tool setup for conceptual design of the wing and the empennage of subsonic civil transport aircraft, based on minimal input data. The tool is set up in Microsoft excel but is designed to work also in Openoffice. This thesis deals with some theoretical explanation of the design steps and guidelines given by different authors, in order to achieve the minimal input data objective. These guidelines were integrated into an excel spread sheet where the main wing and empennage geometry parameters (e.g. taper ratio, sweep angle, thickness ratio…) can be defined. Based on these input parameters, a first geometrical description of the wing and empennage is calculated along with many derived parameters (e.g. mean aerodynamic chord, leading edge sweep angle, wing lift gradient, incidence angle …) which are useful in later phases in the design. The tool also includes top and side views of the wing and empennage and is made as user-friendly as possible, while still maintaining the adjustability of the design model. For example there are diagrams included which show one design parameter set out to another according to the different guidelines. In these diagrams the design point is also added to show the user where the current model is situated.