Aircraft designers are constantly challenged to make planes more fuel efficient. To achieve this goal, engineers incorporate existing and novel composite materials to make designs more aerodynamic, resulting in lighter, stronger, safer and more comfortable airplanes for both commercial and military use.

Predicting the transition from laminar to turbulent flow can be a difficult task, one that is aided by simulation software. Engineers who use tools from ANSYS can more easily determine the extent of laminar flow. This is important as designers seek to predict drag to within 1 count as well as to find ways to reduce drag. Furthermore, the state of the boundary layer determines where the flow will separate. For example, non-conservative (unsafe) predictions result if one assumes fully turbulent flow when addressing the maximum lift coefficient for takeoff and landing. Such simulations predict that the flow in the boundary layer has more momentum and remains attached longer than it does in flight.  Using trusted simulation tools from ANSYS, engineers can obtain more accurate predictions of where the flow will separate and at what point the wing will lose lift.

Air flow pathlines on airplane

During the detailed design phase, engineering teams often find that the craft exceeds weight specifications. Eliminating this consequence is made easier with ANSYS software, which integrates simulation tools that address a variety of disciplines including structures, fluids and electromagnetics.

The ANSYS suite parameterizes the workflow to quickly perform tradeoff analyses and multiphysics simulations. For example, aero-elastic effects can be accurately predicted for nonlinear fluids or nonlinear structures featuring transonic flow, separated flow, or the large geometric displacements exhibited by high altitude long endurance aircraft. Nonconformal load-bearing antenna structures can be designed and engineered to withstand static and dynamic loads, such as those encountered with bird strike and ballistic impact.