Multi-Disciplinary Supersonic Transport Design

  • A. Van der Velden
Part of the International Centre for Mechanical Sciences book series (CISM, volume 366)


The challenge in the development of a very complex system like a supersonic transport is not only to achieve the required technology, but also to link a team of highly skilled experts. In this paper a successful industrial approach is described to integrate the individual departments with their specific knowledge into the design of a future supersonic commercial transport.

Different designs are analyzed with a modular synthesis model and compared on the basis of operating economy with specified performance and environmental impact. The analysis routines of the synthesis model are mainly configuration independent and represent fixed levels of structural, aerodynamic and propulsion technology. The specialist departments are responsible for the content of the routines, and later verify the design with more refined methods. At present more than two hundred variables describe the aircraft geometry, engine characteristics and mission. Thirty of those variables representing the aircraft and its flight-profile are optimized simultaneously as a function of Mach number, payload and range. Because the various designs are analyzed with the same routines and optimization procedures they can be easily compared. This aircraft pre-optimization results in a significant reduction of the number of follow-on detail-design cycles, especially for non-conventional designs.

Examples are given for the preliminary design of arrow-wing and oblique wing supersonic aircraft as compared to subsonic aircraft using the same technology. It is also shown how technology and environmental constraints influence the sized design.


Mach Number Wave Drag Aircraft Design Ozone Layer Depletion Noise Regulation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

List of Principal Symbols


engine bypass ratio


Lift coefficient


design empty mass




Indirect Operating Costs


Mach number


maximum takeoff weight




lift-to-drag ratio


oblique flying wing


oblique wing body


reference wing area


Supersonic Civil Transport


specific fuel consumption (N/hr/N)


sea level static


symmetric wing body


thickness to chord ratio


total operating cost per seat km


maximum turbine entry temperature


minimum control speed




maximum engine pressure ratio


sweep angle


ozone depletion


sonic boom sea-level overpressure


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Van der Velden
    • 1
  1. 1.Synaps Inc.AtlantaUSA

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