Sizing Tool for Quadrotor Biplane Tailsitter UAS
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The Quadrotor-Biplane-Tailsitter (QBT) configuration is the basis for a mechanically simplistic rotorcraft capable of both long-range, high-speed cruise as well as hovering flight. This work presents the development and validation of a set of preliminary design tools built specifically for this aircraft to enable its further development, including: a QBT weight model, preliminary sizing framework, and vehicle analysis tools. The preliminary sizing tool presented here shows the advantage afforded by QBT designs in missions with aggressive cruise requirements, such as offshore wind turbine inspections, wherein transition from a quadcopter configuration to a QBT allows for a 5:1 trade of battery weight for wing weight. A 3D, unsteady panel method utilizing a nonlinear implementation of the Kutta-Joukowsky condition is also presented as a means of computing aerodynamic interference effects and, through the implementation of rotor, body, and wing geometry generators, is prepared for coupling with a comprehensive rotor analysis package.