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Rapid Prototype Wind Tunnel Model And Method of

by:QY Precision      2020-07-11
The present invention relates generally to wind tunnel selections. More particularly, the present invention is directed to a wind tunnel model design using rapid prototype components and a reinforcing strongback. Whether an airframe is a new design, modification of existing design, or evaluation of a competing or foreign design, an accurate, high-confidence representation among the airframe aerodynamics is the vital to any low-risk design or evaluation effort. These aerodynamic estimates are used for vehicle and component sizing, performance estimates, and autopilot design and evaluation. Simply accepted method of obtaining the high fidelity aerodynamics data needed for these purposes is to develop and test a scale model among the airframe in a wind tunnel. Most wind tunnel models are fabricated of all metal components using Computerized Numerical Control (CNC) milling machines. The dimensional accuracy, surface finish and strength of such all-metal models have a distinguished history of providing high fidelity aerodynamics data each subsonic and supersonic aircraft and rocket designs. However, the fabrication of all-metal wind tunnel models is very expensive and time wasting. Following is a brief summary of this wind tunnel model construction process and of prior art attempts at reducing linked to obesity . and time bought such models. A typical aircraft development program usually needs at least four to five wind tunnel models to adequately test the aerodynamics for a new airframe. The models are generally made of aluminum (for lightly stressed components) or steel (for highly stressed components) and are sculpted using 3-5 axis CNC milling machines. The models can require months to manufacture and are often made by small high technology companies that focus of wind tunnel model manufacture. Wind tunnel models are generally supported in a wind tunnel by a positioning device with regard to often referred to as a hurt. The rear portion of a model is usually hollow to allow the sting to penetrate the model body without affecting the aerodynamic properties among the model. A force transducer called an equilibrium is attached towards inside of the model in order to measure forces and moments acting along the model (often measuring all six numbers of freedom: drag, sideforce, lift, roll, pitch and yaw). The sting is rigidly fixed to into your market and all lead wires from the balance and any other control lines or strain gage leads from the model are routed inside or along the sting and to be able to the control room of the wind tunnel facility. The cost of fabricating and instrumenting a typical wind tunnel model is on the order of $100,000; however, complex models that include engine simulators, remote controlled control surfaces, numerous rows of pressure taps, etc., can cost over $1,000,000. Businesses that are able to cut back the time and expenses associated with wind tunnel models therefore stand to obtain a significant competitive plus point. For several years Rapid Prototype (RP) materials and methods have been viewed as a potential supply of improvements to conventional wind tunnel makes. RP parts can generally be made much more rapidly and less expensively than conventional machined parts. RP manufacturing is a field of high technology concerning the generation of three-dimensional solids using particles or layers of mostly polymeric materials. 2 of the most popular RP techniques include stereolithography (SLA.RTM.) and fused deposition modeling (FDM.RTM.). Both techniques build solid objects layer-by-layer based on data from a computer aided design (CAD) software program. SLA.RTM. equipment is manufactured by 3D Systems, Inc. of Valencia Calif. and employs a laser beam to selectively solidify the surface layer of a photopolymer resin. The solidified surface layer forms a cross percentage of prototype part. A supporting table then lowers the part several thousandths inch into the resin and the laser solidifies the next layer. These and other objects are achieved in the present invention in a wind tunnel model including a strongback, made of a rigid material and having an exterior axial surface, the strongback being designed regarding supported by a balance. The strongback is at least partially inside the interior volume of a jacket section that is made of a rapid prototype (RP) material. The exterior axial surface of the strongback engages an indoor axial surface of your jacket section, as well as the exterior surface of the jacket section defines at least part of an aerodynamic develop. The techniques for the present invention can be applied to any wind tunnel model design intended for use with a balance for measuring forces and moments placed on the model. This includes aircraft such as planes, rockets and missiles as well as ground based vehicles such as high-speed racecars. Other objects and advantages of the invention will be fully apparent of this following more detailed description and the appended drawings that illustrate in detail one embodiment of your invention. In the next description, all like reference numerals make reference to like elements.
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