Seaplane conceptual design and sizing

Canamar Leyva, Alan Leonel (2012) Seaplane conceptual design and sizing. MSc(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Ever since the idea of flying machines that could land and take off from water (seaplanes) was invented in 1910, a huge amount of research was poured into it until it stagnated in 1950. Their performance did not grow according to current aircraft requirements. The idea of designing advance seaplane concepts stopped, and most seaplanes existing these days are approaching their final operating life. The purpose of this research project was to introduce a new seaplane concept design methodology that will suffice the necessities of actual aircraft designers. This concept design replaces old sizing methods proposed with a more efficient methodology based on modern aircraft design methods. The sizing method developed gives the designer a “freedom” in creating an “out of the box” seaplane concept. The optimization method was elaborated in such a manner that the designer can use certain types of aircraft configuration (Conventional, Blended Wing Body, and Flying Wing). The sizing method simplified the design by calculating the most advanced floating device for this seaplane concept. Old seaplane information was blended with modern aircraft and modern ship design information, creating a new preliminary seaplane concept design. Another advantage of this design method is the idea to convert existing landplane into a seaplane by adding the floating device that meets the necessary requirements of the seaplane conversion.
The second part of the research was to address technical solutions to the actual seaplane design. For example, adding a trimaran configuration that increased the hydrodynamic performance and the use of a retractable float system that reduced aerodynamic drag during flight. Final results were elaborated to compare the use of trimaran with other types of floating devices. The final results showed the trimaran concept gave an excellent hydrostatic stability, a greater water speed, and retracting the floats decreased the aerodynamic drag, hence better flight performance.
Aircraft design has been affected by actual economical difficulties showing no radical progress in this field of study. The next purpose of the research was to explore more radical, environmentally efficient, and innovative technologies. With the aid of the proposed sizing methodology for a modern and futuristic seaplane, a new vision was created called: 2050 Visionary Aeronautical Design Concept. Based on this vision the creation of an advance “out of the box” amphibian aircraft was elaborated. The project analyzed technical solutions, and a conceptual design concept for the creation of this 2050 amphibian aircraft. The preliminary design development leads to the creation of an Advance Amphibian Blended Body Wing Aircraft (AABWBA). AABWBA excels in air performance due to the high results generated by the Blended Wing Body (BWB) Aircraft. Adopting modern turbofan engines instead of turboprop engines gave the AABWBA better water takeoff capability, as well as air performance. Modern ideas for 2050 vision are the creation of futuristic seaports in order to increase seaplane traffic, public and commercial awareness, and expand market schemes.
A design analysis was performed to show a model representation of this advance seaplane design. A Computer Aided Design (CAD) model was elaborated to calculate the dimensions, observe the mechanism of the retractable floats, and show the location of the boat hull. With the aid of this CAD model, Finite Element Analysis (FEA) was performed to show the structural strength and impact of the hull and floats when landing on water. Finally, with the aid of this model, a hydrostatic analysis of the seaplane was conducted to show the water stability, and heel turns to observe the performance of the trimaran and the retractable floats when the seaplane is being operated in water.

Item Type: Thesis (MSc(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: Seaplane, Aircraft Design, Trimaran, Retractable Floats, Amphibians
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Autonomous Systems and Connectivity
Supervisor's Name: Smrcek, Dr Ladislav
Date of Award: 2012
Depositing User: Mr Alan Leonel Canamar Leyva
Unique ID: glathesis:2012-4030
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2013 16:20
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2013 10:46

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