Local Piston Theory as an Alternative to Mesh Deformation: Slender Wing/Body Configurations

Marius-corné Meijer, Laurent Dala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The suitability of local piston theory for modeling static loads on a deforming low-aspect-ratio wing in the presence of aerodynamic interference is investigated. Predictions using Euler-based local piston theory are compared to Euler solutions for the deformed geometry. Moderate to large deformations are investigated for the leeside wing on a cruciform wing/body configuration. It is shown that local piston theory is suitable even for large deformations, with the perturbation downwash/Mach number supersonic, provided that the loading induced by deformation is not dominated by interaction with body vortices or other sources of aerodynamic interference. Second-order local piston theory is recommended for deformations producing downwash/Mach numbers approaching sonic. The influence of the choice of piston theory coefficients is in producing an estimation band for the local piston theory load prediction, with insignificant influence on the load slope in the present investigation. In conclusion, local piston theory is put forward as a viable alternative to mesh deformation toward reduction of the computational cost of aerodynamic load prediction for static aeroelasticity, provided that perturbation loads are dominated by local twist and not by vortex interaction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1709-1719
JournalJournal of Aircraft
Issue number4
Early online date30 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018


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