Date of Submission
Industrial and Systems Engineering
Dr. Adeel Khalid
This project was pursued to bring another possible solution to a major problem within the pilot training industry. When it comes to pilots training with aircraft, they must often use repurposed older aircraft to log their training hours. With few options when it comes to aircraft that are designed specifically for training, we have researched, modeled, and simulated tests for our own trainer jet to add to the market. The aircraft was designed to seat 4-8 people (1-2 for crew and 2-6 for passengers), weigh less than 10,000 lbs., have a range of about 1195.5 nautical miles, have a max service ceiling of 20,000 ft, reach a max Mach speed of 0.7, and have an endurance of about 5 hours of flight time. The aircraft was also designed with these parameters to qualify it as a Very Lightweight Jet (VLJ). For us to deem this project a success we sought to not exceed the weight limit for a Very Lightweight Jet, have the aircraft produce more thrust than drag so that it will be able to takeoff, produce enough lift to maintain level flight at lower speeds to be considered a category A or B aircraft, and not have an overly complex operating system or too unstable aerodynamically to fly safely. We conducted research on many topics by reading various research papers and articles to understand different approaches to the trainer jet problem in the past as well as become more informed of how our project is a justified solution. A mission profile was produced so that the aircraft’s intended use would be easily defined. We amassed a budget to estimate how much production of our trainer jet would cost. Hand sketches were drawn initially for design purposes, and they were used further to produce the 3D model with which simulations were conducted upon. Trade studies on range and weight were conducted for optimization purposes and possible improvements in the future. Extensive calculations were done to determine the aircraft’s aerodynamic performance including engine selection, thrust installation corrections, propulsion data, and optimal airfoil selection. More aerodynamic performance calculations were conducted to gather the trainer jet’s cruise speed, takeoff and landing distances, wing loading, thrust to weight ratio, and more. These calculations done by hand and using spreadsheets and compared with our simulations. We were able to create simulations for the trainer jet in a 3D modeled environment. These simulations also allowed us to see the trainer jet’s pressure concentrations. With the completion of this project we were able to produce an aircraft under the 10,000 lbs. weight limit with it being at 4,725 lbs. It has a range of 1504.9 nautical miles, a cruise speed of 562 ft/s (Mach 0.5), max speed of 787 ft/s (Mach 0.7), and flight time of about 5 hours. Throughout the project, we were able to learn a lot about aircraft production, the importance of calculations and comparing them to simulations which would then be compared to real life testing, the cost of producing an aircraft, and how much detail goes into each and every part of the design process to produce a safe and marketable aircraft for any industry.
Robinson, Saxton; Gentry, Eric; Holmes, Daniyel; and Cheng, Navee, "Very Light Jet Trainer (VLJ) - Phoenix IV" (2020). Senior Design Project For Engineers. 45.