Characterization and Analysis of the Fuselage of the Clipperspirit Seaplane
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractA preliminary hull design had been completed for the amphibious aircraft, The ClipperSpirit. This year, the team was tasked with characterizing and analyzing aerodynamic and hydrodynamic properties of the fuselage/hull. This seaplane project had problems not typically encountered in the aviation industry - the interaction of the aircraft with water and a fuselage shape that is not ideal for flight. An experimental setup was designed to investigate the interaction of the fuselage with a water surface for scaled speeds simulating takeoff and landing. Additionally, the flow near the step of the fuselage (a feature typical of seaplanes) was characterized. These tasks involved learning new software, design using SolidWorks, manufacturing scaled models, basic flow visualization, and the experimental process. Qualitative results were obtained and a first iteration of a testing platform to quantify the resistance of the planing fuselage on water was designed and construction. The results of the tests can be used to consider alternate configurations of the fuselage design. Of particular interest was the afterbody, the portion of the fuselage after the step that experiences increased drag.
Degree ProgramHonors College