To gain a better understanding of how different aerodynamic parameters effect flight, I was tasked with conducting a performance analysis on the Supermarine Spitfire. To accomplish the given task, I developed a program in MATLAB that takes physical and aerodynamic parameters as an input, and publishes the aircraft’s:
1. Steady Level Flight Envelope.
2. Take off performance.
3. Climb performance.
4. Landing performance.
5. Descent performance.
6. Range and Endurance
7. Cruise Performance
as graphs for a pilot or an engineer to read.
Because the Spitfire is an aircraft that has been around for a long time, most of the aircraft’s data is available to the public. Anything that was not available, was calculated based on an understanding of aircrafts, and aerodynamics.
Through out the span of the project many lessons were learned. The project was a huge milestone in terms of me getting familiar with MATLAB. It helped me become more efficient and smarter in coding by utilizing nested loops to cut down the number of lines. There was also a-lot of data to be analysed and cross referenced to check for errors, so it taught me the value of consistency in work effort as it required many hours of work spread over many weeks to ensure the code and equations were correct and giving the correct data to the end user.
The graph on the left shows the Flight Envelope of the Supermarine Spitfire. It shows:
Stall Velocity vs. Altitude as it changes with elevation, Cruise Velocity vs. Altitude for maximum efficiency, The Service Ceiling and Absolute Ceiling, and Max Velocity vs. Altitude.
If the aircraft is to the left of the Stall Velocity curve, it will enter a stall as the wings would not generate enough lift. If the aircraft is above the maximum velocity, it can suffer structural damage. The aircraft cannot propel itself above the absolute ceiling. Everything within the three curves is safe range of operation.
Several graphs were published for the Supermarine Spitfire.
The analysis included:
Take off Distance vs Altitude under various conditions such as wind factor or runway conditions and incline of the runway.
Several graphs were published for the Supermarine Spitfire, including:
Landing Distance vs. Altitude under various conditions such as wind factor or runway conditions and incline of the runway