Loads determination for external stores on fighter aircraft is an important task for manufacturers in ensuring the safe operation of their aircraft. Due to the large number of possible store combinations, wind tunnel tests – the primary approach to obtaining loads data – cannot be performed for all configurations. Instead, supplementary techniques to estimating loads are necessary. One approach is to use information from another store and adapt it, using so-called scaling methods, to the non-tested store.
In this study, a scaling method combining the results of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations, for both a non-tested and a reference store, with existing wind tunnel data for the reference store, is thoroughly examined for a number of different stores, angles of attack, sideslip angles and Mach numbers. The performance of the proposed scaling method is assessed in relation to currently used scaling methods, using non-parametric and multivariate statistics.
The results show no definitive improvement in performance for the proposed scaling method over the current methods. Although the proposed method is slightly more conservative, considerable variability in the estimates and an increased time consumption for scaling leads the author to advise against using the proposed method for scaling aerodynamic loads on external stores.
Source: Umeå University
Author: Öhrman, Jakob