There are a lot of several disciplines for design an aircraft, aerodynamics, propulsion, meteorology, physics, fluids mechanics, etc. NASA has some simulators for understanding some of these disciplines. You can simulate the design of a wing foil, a jet engine, simulate the pressure and temperatures in the atmosphere, design a rocket and test some of them in wind tunnels. There is a bonus material, the source code of these simulators, a great material for understanding how the simulators works and you can freely modify them under the NASA’s terms and conditions expressed in the source code’s heading. Enjoy them!
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This program lets you study how pressure, temperature, and density change through the atmosphere. You can study the atmosphere of the Earth or of Mars. Since speed of sound depends on the atmospheric gas and the temperature, you can also output the local speed of sound and the Mach number for a selected aircraft velocity. You can either input a selected altitude, or change altitude using an aircraft slider.
EngineSim is a simulator that models the design and testing of jet engines. The program works in two modes: Design Mode or Tunnel Test Mode. In the Design Mode, you can change design variables including the flight conditions, the engine size, the inlet performance, the turbo machinery compressor and turbine performance, the combustors or burner performance, or the nozzle performance. For a turbofan engine design you can also vary the fan performance and the bypass ratio. When you have a design that you like, you can switch to the Tunnel Test Mode which simulates the testing of a jet engine on a test stand. You can then vary the test altitude, flight speed and throttle setting. Several existing engines are also modeled in EngineSim.
Wing Lift and Drag Simulator:
FoilSim III computes the theoretical lift and drag of a variety of airfoil shapes. The user can control the shape, size, and inclination of the airfoil and the atmospheric conditions in which the airfoil is flying. The program includes a stall model for the airfoil, a model of the Martian atmosphere, and the ability to specify a variety of fluids for lift comparisons. The program has graphical and numerical output, including an interactive probe which you can use to investigate the details of flow around an airfoil.
Wing Geometry Designer:
Is a simulator to design an aircraft wing model. You interactively change the chord, span, camber, and thickness of the wing and the program generates the geometry. The geometry is displayed in a three-dimensional projection and as an engineering drawing. For the TunnelSys Application, the output from design program becomes the input to the wind tunnel test program. For the TunnelSys Applet, the design illustrates many of the design variables described on the wing geometry web page
Wind Tunnel Operation:
Helps you design an open return wind tunnel. The program solves the continuity equation for a geometry that you specify using sliders and input boxes. The analysis is limited to incompressible, inviscid, one-dimensional flows, and the program warns the user if the diffuser angle exceeds a separation criteria (> 7 degrees) or if the speed in any section of the tunnel exceeds 300 mph. Calculations are in English or Metric units.
Rocket Modeler was developed at the NASA Glenn Research Center in an effort to foster hands-on, inquiry-based learning in science and math. RocketModeler is a simulator that models the design and flight of a model rocket. You can change design variables including the size, and shape of the rocket body, the fins, the nose cone. You can also select different materials for each component. The program calculates the weight of the rocket and determines the drag coefficient from a table of experimental data. You can select from a variety of standard solid rocket engines. The program computes the center of gravity and pressure for your rocket and determines the stability. When you have a design that you like, you move to the pad, where you can launch your rocket and observe its flight trajectory. You can pause at any time to record data and then continue the flight through parachute deploy and recovery. The program models stomp rockets, bottle rockets, and ballistic shells in addition to solid model rockets. It also supports both English and Metric units, and you can fly your rockets on the Earth, Moon, or Mars.
You can complement the use of these simulators with all the material in the NASA’s site. www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/k-12/airplane/guided.htm
You can also see here the free software available. www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/k-12/freesoftware_page.htm
Credits and disclaimer:
NASA and NASA’s logo are trademarks by www.nasa.gov, all the programs are developed by NASA and its authors, www.aeriaa.com does not have any responsibility of system, navigator, application malfunction or security problem derived of configuring the system for executing the simulators. This post has the only intention of spreading aviation knowledge. For more info: www.nasa.gov and www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/k-12/disclaimer.htm
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