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Supersonic Flow Past a Fighter Aircraft

In this problem, supersonic flow past a fighter aircraft at Mach number 2.0 is simulated. The aircraft is modeled after the Lockheed YF-22 Advanced Tactical Fighter. The model generated with an interactive modeling program contains 142 Bézier surfaces. The model is very detailed, and all of the important components of the aircraft are present. Since the geometry of the aircraft is symmetric, only half of the aircraft is being modeled. The surface mesh for the model contains 33,868 nodes and 67,732 triangular elements. An automatic mesh generator created a 3D mesh containing 185,483 nodes and 1,071,580 tetrahedral elements. The simulation is carried out on a CRAY T3D. The steady-state solution is obtained using a matrix-free iterative implicit code with a local-time stepping algorithm. The picture above shows the temperature distribution on the aircraft surface. The unstructured mesh generator, flow solver, and flow visualization software (based on Wavefront) were developed by the T*AFSM.

The flow simulation for the fighter aircraft was part of an effort by the T*AFSM researchers, partially funded by the Advanced Research Projects Agency, for the development of scalable libraries for fluid mechanics applications.


1. T.E. Tezduyar and T.J.R. Hughes, "Finite Element Formulations for Convection Dominated Flows with Particular Emphasis on the Compressible Euler Equations", AIAA Paper 83-0125, Proceedings of AIAA 21st Aerospace Sciences Meeting, Reno, Nevada (1983).

2. T.J.R. Hughes and T.E. Tezduyar, "Finite Element Methods for First-order Hyperbolic Systems with Particular Emphasis on the Compressible Euler Equations", Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering, 45 (1984) 217-284.

3. G.J. Le Beau and T.E. Tezduyar, "Finite Element Computation of Compressible Flows with the SUPG Formulation", Advances in Finite Element Analysis in Fluid Dynamics (eds. M.N. Dhaubhadel, M.S. Engelman and J.N. Reddy), FED-Vol. 123, ASME, New York (1991) 21-27.

4. G.J. Le Beau and T.E. Tezduyar, "Finite Element Solution of Flow Problems with Mixed-Time Integration", Journal of Engineering Mechanics, 117 (1991) 1311-1330.

5. T. Tezduyar, S. Aliabadi, M. Behr, A. Johnson, V. Kalro and M. Litke, "Flow Simulation and High Performance Computing", Computational Mechanics, 18 (1996) 397-412.