Date of Submission

Spring 2019

Academic Programs and Concentrations

Physics

Project Advisor 1

Matthew Deady

Abstract/Artist's Statement

Flight is no rare event in today's society, and aviation is a global industry that significantly contributes to carbon emissions and global warming. Thus, my project theorizes how aviation might be better optimized at a fundamental level to improve aerodynamic efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. This is done by analyzing two systems of flight: gliding and powered flight. In pursuit of an understanding of a hybrid of these flight systems, I first look to qualitatively analyze the benefit of gliding over powered aviation. Powering an aircraft involves an engine that generates thrust, while gliding only involves three forces: lift, drag, and gravity. How can gliding be used to reduce the amount that an aircraft relies on generating thrust? How can we use gravity to our advantage? The following theoretical work hones in on these ideas, and expands to the intricacies of fluid dynamics around an airfoil, optimizing the general aircraft design that would be required from an aircraft with a hybrid glide/powered mode, and optimizing a flight path that would reimagine air travel in a fuel-efficient manner. The theoretical work introduces both questions and concerns about this hybrid flight plan, and ultimately attempts to motivate further work and thinking in the context of modeling aerodynamically-efficient flight plans and design ideas.

Open Access Agreement

Open Access

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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