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41st Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit 6-9 January 2003, Reno, Nevada

AIAA 2003-554

AERODYNAMICS OF HIGH-SUBSONIC BLENDED-WING-BODY CONFIGURATIONS


Dino Roman* The Boeing Company Huntington Beach, CA 92647 Richard Gilmore The Boeing Company Huntington Beach, CA 92647 Sean Wakayama The Boeing Company Huntington Beach, CA 92647

Abstract A Mach 0.93 Blended-Wing-Body (BWB) configuration was developed using CFL3DV6, a Navier-Stokes computational fluid dynamics (CFD) code, in conjunction with the Wing Multidisciplinary Optimization Design (WingMOD) code, to determine the feasibility of BWB aircraft at high subsonic speeds. Excluding an assessment of propulsion airframe interference, the results show that a Mach 0.93 BWB is feasible, although it pays a performance penalty relative to Mach 0.85 designs. A Mach 0.90 BWB may be the best solution in terms of offering improved speed with minimal performance penalty. Introduction By integrating the functions of wing and fuselage, the Blended-Wing-Body (BWB) achieves a clean aerodynamic and efficient structural design that offers tremendous potential for reduced fuel burn, weight, and cost (Refs. 1-3). With the announcement of the Sonic Cruiser, a 0.95 to 0.98 Mach number configuration, Boeing expressed a new emphasis on increased speed. While the BWB had previously been studied as a Mach 0.85 configuration, the new emphasis motivated a study to determine if the advantages of the BWB could be maintained at higher speeds. The natural area ruling of the BWB indicated that this might be possible. Area ruling is important when considering the wave drag for a body, which is governed by the following equation:

1.2 Normalized Cross Sectional Area

BWB Sears-Haack

1.0 MD-11 0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

0.0 0 0.2 0.4 x 0.6 0.8 1

Fig. 1 Area distribution. conventional aircraft, like the MD-11, shown in Fig. 1 along with the area distributions of the BWB and the theoretical minimum wave drag Sears-Haack body. The conventional airplane has a very non-smooth area distribution, with sharp breaks where the wing and empennage meet the fuselage. To solve this increased wave drag problem when going to higher subsonic speeds, conventional airplanes often use an area ruled, or coke-bottle, fuselage. This modification results in a manufacturing cost penalty associated with changing from a pressure vessel with constant cross section to one with varying cross section. Unlike a conventional airplane, the BWB has a smooth area distribution that is similar to the Sears-Haack distribution. Since the BWB is already area ruled, there is no additional cost penalty for changing the character of the pressure vessel, suggesting that the BWB may perform at lower cost than a conventional airplane when increasing to higher subsonic speeds. Tools Navier-Stokes Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and Inverse Design Due to the unconventional nature of the BWB (large inboard chords, thick airfoils with large trailing edge closure angles, and extreme blending), results from standard drag build-up methods based on flat plate

D 1 q 0 2

S ( x)S ( ) log x
0 0

1 1

dxd

This equation shows that wave drag varies with the second derivative of cross-sectional area, implying that breaks in the area distribution result in high wave drag. Such breaks can be seen in the area distributions of Associate Technical Fellow, Associate Fellow AIAA Engineer/Scientist Specialist, Member AIAA Principal Engineer/Scientist, Senior Member AIAA Copyright 2002 by The Boeing Company. Published by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc. with permission.
*

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Copyright 2003 by The Boeing Company. Published by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc., with permission.

friction and empirical form factors are suspect, especially at chord Reynolds Numbers as high as 300 million. Navier-Stokes analysis, however, is well suited to represent the three-dimensional physics involved. To conduct the CFD analysis presented in this study, CFL3D, with the Spalart-Allmaras one equation turbulence model, was used. CFL3D (Ref. 4) is a NASA-developed Reynolds-averaged NavierStokes code. It incorporates an upwind differencing scheme, which is better at capturing shocks and avoiding excessive numerical dissipation than a central differencing scheme. Fig. 2 shows NTF wind tunnel results for a first generation BWB configuration compared to results from multiple CFD codes (Ref. 5). CFL3D provides a better drag estimate than other popular CFD codes at cruise conditions, matching the drag within 2 counts at constant CL. Fig. 3 shows almost perfect agreement in variation of lift coefficient with angle of attack, and only a small discrepancy in pitching moment variation with angle of attack. The magnitude of the pitching moment coefficient discrepancy is about 0.01 at its maximum, but the pitching moment break still occurs at nearly the same CL, an important consideration for buffet prediction. Pressure distributions on an inboard and outboard airfoil are shown in Fig. 4 for both the mid-cruise CL and the buffet-onset CL. Buffet is assumed to occur at or near the pitching moment break. Again, the CFL3D results agree well with the NTF wind tunnel results. The chordwise shock locations and magnitudes are captured. Excellent accuracy in drag, lift, pitching moment and pressure distributions is obtained with under one million grid points.

The airfoil stacks for the various wings designed in this study were extensively modified using a NASA Langley-developed constrained inverse design capability, CDISC (Ref. 6). Within CDISC, the user specifies a pressure distribution and the code determines the geometry necessary to achieve those

Fig. 3 CL variation with angle of attack and CM. NTF results compared to CFL3D. M=0.85, Re=25M.

Fig. 2 CL and CD results from multiple CFD codes, compared to NTF results. M=0.85, Re=25M.

Fig. 4 Chordwise pressure distributions on an inboard and outboard airfoil, at mid-cruise and buffet-onset CL. NTF results compared to CFL3D. M=0.85, Re=25M.

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pressures under user specified geometric and aerodynamic constraints. Coupled to CFL3D with specified constraints on airfoil thickness, leading edge radius, trailing edge closure angle, pressure vessel height, shock strength, pitching moment, and spanload, CDISC allows for realistic tailoring of the pressures to achieve a smooth chordwise and spanwise distribution with weakened shocks and less aggressive trailing edge pressure recoveries. CFL3D coupled to the CDISC inverse design capability proved to be an extremely valuable tool for BWB clean wing design. Multidisciplinary Design Optimization (MDO) The Wing Multidisciplinary Optimization Design (WingMOD) tool was used to perform the MDO portion of the current study. As described in Refs. 7-8, WingMOD models the BWB with a simple vortexlattice code and monocoque beam analysis, coupled to give static aeroelastic loads. The model is trimmed at several flight conditions to obtain load and induced drag data. Profile and compressibility drag are evaluated at stations across the span of the wing with empirical relations using the lift coefficients obtained from the vortex lattice code. The compressibility drag model is calibrated to CFD results. Structural weight is calculated from the maximum elastic loads encountered through a range of flight conditions, including maneuver, vertical gust, and lateral gust. The structure is sized based on bending strength and buckling stability considerations. Maximum lift is evaluated using a critical section method that declares the wing to be at its maximum useable lift when any section reaches its maximum lift coefficient, which is calculated from empirical data. These analysis modules are linked to a non-linear gradient-based optimizer. The optimizer is flexible and allows the user to designate any analysis input as a design variable and any database variable as a constraint. In typical wing planform optimizations, as described in Ref. 9, a wide variety of constraints is applied. Mission constraints such as payload, range, and approach speed are applied as well as design constraints like maximum running loads and buffet characteristics. These design constraints are put in place to ensure that the optimizer designs a practical configuration that can be refined later using higher fidelity methods. Approach CFD and MDO were used in conjunction to develop a Mach 0.93 BWB configuration. While CFD can accurately capture compressibility and other aerodynamic effects, a CFD-based design does not consider constraints such as balance and structural

sizing. Additionally, while a CFD-designed configuration may be aerodynamically efficient, it is not necessarily low weight. Therefore, MDO was incorporated in the current study to satisfy nonaerodynamic constraints and optimize for minimum take-off weight. The study consisted of a four-step process: 1. Design an aerodynamically efficient configuration using CFD. 2. Calibrate the MDO tool (WingMOD) to CFD results. 3. Using MDO, optimize a BWB for minimum take-off weight. 4. Verify and refine the resultant configuration aerodynamics in CFD. Initial CFD-Based Aerodynamic Design Because aerodynamic performance must be evaluated using the lower orderbut much fastermethods in the MDO tool, starting from an efficient aerodynamic design at the desired Mach number would result in a better overall configuration with acceptable aerodynamic performance. Even though WingMOD was calibrated to CFD at various Mach numbers, straying too far from an initial design could lead to overly-optimistic aerodynamic performance. Several design cycle iterations between WingMOD and CFD revealed the advantages of starting with an aerodynamically efficient configuration. Starting from a well-established 0.85 Mach configuration, new wings were developed at 0.90 and 0.93 Mach with the goal of maximizing L/D at each Mach number, with consideration given to various design constraints. In particular, each wing design was driven by the requirement to enclose the pressurized passenger and cargo cabin, maintain a reasonable buffet boundary and achieve acceptable post-buffet characteristics (i.e. avoid severe post-buffet pitch-up). A description of the additional multi-disciplined interdependent real-world constraints affecting aerodynamic design particular to a BWB are described in detail in Ref. 10. Although these additional constraints were not specifically tracked or evaluated during the initial CFD phase of the study, they did play a secondary role in limiting some of the planformdesign choices made. All of these constraints were addressed by the subsequent WingMOD optimizations. While the span was held fixed, the sweep and chord length of the baseline 0.85 Mach design were systematically varied (effectively reducing t/c for fixed thickness) to minimize wave drag associated with wing thickness effects, and to maintain acceptable buffet margin and characteristics. The resulting planforms are shown in Fig. 5, compared to the baseline 0.85 Mach

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design. The sweep increased to minimize wing thickness effects on wave drag. Because the inboard wing thickness was driven by the height of the pressure vessel, there is little one can do, apart from increasing sweep and chord, to reduce transonic thickness effects in this portion of the wing. The chord increases are shown in Fig. 6 as a percentage increase over the baseline 0.85 Mach configuration chords. The inboard chord increases were mainly driven by thickness considerations while the outboard chords were driven by the requirement to maintain a reasonable spanload and maintain acceptable buffet margin and characteristics. Increasing the chord length reduced the section lift coefficient for a given section loading, ccl, which gave more margin to the critical section buffet cl. Tailoring the chord lengths in the spanwise direction allowed the designer to locate the buffet-critical section at a spanwise location that did not aggravate post-buffet pitch-up characteristics. The increases in chord length lead to significant increases in wing area as Mach

number increased, as shown in Fig. 7. Note the steepening slope with Mach number. Fig. 8 shows the pitching moment curve for the three wings at their respective Mach numbers. Improvement in buffet margin and pitch-up characteristics were seen as Mach number increased. This is partly due to the spanwise wing chord distribution, but also due to the natural tendency of the wing center-of-pressure location to move aft with Mach number, leading to a more stable design. Note that other than the baseline 0.85 Mach configuration, the wings were not trimmed, an issue later resolved using MDO. The airfoil stack for each wing was designed using CDISC coupled to CFL3D as described earlier. The resulting aerodynamic performance of the higher Mach number wings is shown in Fig. 9 compared to the baseline 0.85 Mach number wing. While L/D decreased with Mach number as expected (due to compressibility effects), ML/D showed a significant

Fig. 5 Planform change with increasing Mach number.

Fig. 7 Planform area increase with Mach number.

Fig. 6 Spanwise chord increase with increasing Mach number.

Fig. 8 Pitching moment curves with increasing Mach number.

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Fig. 10 Crest critical Mach number as a function of t/c and cl.


Compressibility Drag 1.0

Fig. 9 L/D and ML/D change with Mach number. improvement. It is important to note, however, that these are purely aerodynamic, untrimmed wing-alone results. The many non-aerodynamic constraints not addressed by the CFD designs (e.g. trim, balance, structures) were later addressed by MDO. With proper calibration, the MDO tool emulated the CFD results, and there was confidence that it could capture the important aerodynamic effects during planform optimizations. Drag Calibration In analyzing BWB configurations at Mach numbers going up to 0.95, there is concern that the simple WingMOD models may not capture significant transonic effects. This concern was addressed by calibrating the WingMOD models to CFL3D NavierStokes CFD results for a number of BWB configurations, comparing calibrated WingMOD and CFD results, and performing CFD design and analysis on the final WingMOD optimized configuration. Figs. 10 and 11 show the WingMOD compressibility drag model. Compressibility drag is determined on a section-by-section basis. For each section, a thickness to chord ratio and lift coefficient are evaluated perpendicular to the effective sweep line, which is determined from a source-sink thickness model described in Ref. 11. These properties are then input to a function represented in Fig. 10 to determine the section crest-critical Mach number (Mcc). Mcc is described as the freestream Mach number at which the local flow at the crest of the airfoil, the location where the surface is tangent to the freestream direction, becomes sonic (Ref. 12). Once Mcc is determined, compressibility drag can be derived. For each section, compressibility drag is related to the ratio of freestream Mach number to crest-critical Mach number, as shown in Fig. 11. The curve shown is represented by a spline

1.1

1.2 M / Mcc

1.3

1.4

Fig. 11 Sectional compressibility drag curve. that can be manipulated by the WingMOD optimizer during calibration. To calibrate for the current study, a Mach 0.85 BWB configuration and two Mach 0.93 BWB configurations were analyzed in both WingMOD and CFL3D. To match WingMOD and CFD representations, WingMOD spanloads were tailored to match CFD, and the configurations were analyzed without nacelles, pylons, or winglets. The WingMOD compressibility drag model was then adjusted, via the coefficients for the spline shown in Fig. 11, to minimize the error in compressibility drag over all three configurations. Procedures described in Ref. 13 for linking variables were used to enable a simultaneous optimization over the three configurations to calibrate the compressibility drag model. Fig. 12 compares lift to drag ratio (L/D) for the three configurations relative to the maximum L/D of the Mach 0.85 configuration, analyzed both in CFD and in WingMOD after the calibration. WingMOD L/D levels are within 5% of CFD and show This is good agreement similar trends in CL. considering the WingMOD aerodynamic analysis runs in a fraction of a second. It is also possible that the less mature Mach 0.93 designs will improve relative to the Mach 0.85 design with further aerodynamic refinement in CFD, resulting in better agreement between WingMOD and CFD.

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100 95 L/D (% Max L/D) 90 85 80 75 70 65 60 0.10 M=0.85 Design in WingMOD M=0.93 CFD Design in WingMOD M=0.93 Early WingMOD Design in WingMOD M=0.85 Design in CFD M=0.93 CFD Design in CFD M=0.93 Early WingMOD Design in CFD 0.15 0.20 0.25 CL 0.30 0.35 0.40

Fig. 12 Comparison of CFD and WingMOD lift to drag ratios. MDO Study Starting from the Mach 0.93 CFD designed baseline, WingMOD was used to design and analyze a family of BWB configurations with Mach numbers of 0.85, 0.90, 0.93, and 0.95, and ranges of 7500 nmi and 8900 nmi (study described in detail in Ref. 14). Configurations were optimized for minimum take-off weight, with 154 design variables and 1,091 constraints specified, of which 134 were critical. This resulted in a system with 20 unconstrained degrees of freedom. Design variables included structural gauge thicknesses,

structural layout parameters, geometry (chords, thicknesses, twist, etc.), control commands, control schedules, fuel distribution schedules, etc. WingMOD analyzed 28 different conditions, most of which were subject to trim and balance constraints. The resulting configurations met the mission requirements (i.e. range and payload) as well as satisfying trim, balance, performance, stability, maximum lift, buffet, structural sizing, and passenger cabin height constraints. Fig. 13 demonstrates some of what WingMOD accomplished by optimizing an aerodynamically efficient design. Fig. 13a shows the balance diagram for the CFD baseline design. The points represent c.g. locations for different conditions. The dashed lines represent the control limits of the aircraft. Several of the c.g. locations fall outside the limits, indicating the aircraft is not balanced. Fig. 13b shows how WingMOD was able to balance this airplane using ballast. The addition of ballast increased operating empty weight (OEW) through increases in structural weight, in addition to the weight of the ballast itself. As the aircraft balanced at more-aft c.g. locations, L/D increased, improving fuel burn. Take-off weight (TOW) then increased less than OEW, because the fuel burn improvement partially offset the empty weight increase. By reshaping the planform, WingMOD was able to solve the balance problem and reduce the TOW of the aircraft at the same time. The balance diagram for the optimized 0.93 Mach, 7,500 nmi configuration is shown in Fig. 13c.

Balance Diagram

Balance Diagram

Balance Diagram

W eight

W eight

30

35

40 Balance Control Lim its MAC Increm ents (% )

30

35

40 Balance Control Lim its MAC Increm ents (% )

W eight

30

35

40 Balance Control Lim its MAC Increm ents (% )

Mom ent

Mom ent

Mom ent

(a) CFD Baseline Unbalanced TOW: Base OEW: Base

(b) Balanced CFD Baseline Adds Aft Ballast TOW: +2.1% OEW: +4.2% Fig. 13 WingMOD balance analysis.

(c) Optimized Configuration Planform Reshaped TOW: -6.8% OEW: -5.5%

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6% 5% 4% 3% 2% 1% 0% -1% -2% -3% 0.84 0.86 0.88 7500 nmi 8900 nmi 0.90 Mach 0.92 0.94 0.96
ML/D

study emphasizing speed, a Mach 0.93 design was selected for further study. CFD Aerodynamic Refinement The Mach 0.93, 7500 nmi WingMOD-optimized configuration was the basis for the BWB-6-250B, shown in Fig. 15. CFL3D coupled to CDISC inverse design was used to design the airfoil stack, as discussed earlier, and verify the aerodynamic performance of the wing. For simplicity of this design study the isolated BWB wing was considered without the added complications of modeling the winglet and nacelle and pylon. Whereas the winglet has a fairly localized effect at the wing tip, the nacelle and pylon can have a more pronounced effect and would need to be integrated in the design at whichever speed is deemed most appropriate from this initial study. Similar design techniques and tools as described earlier would be used to perform the propulsion/airframe and winglet integration. Without the nacelle and pylon, gridding the wing geometry became a simple task using readily available tools.

Fig. 14 Average cruise mach number times lift to drag ratio trend. Fig. 14 shows the Mach number times lift to drag ratio (ML/D) for each member of the optimized family, relative to the 7500 nmi Mach 0.85 configuration. Aerodynamically, a Mach 0.90 BWB configuration may be optimal, with the peak in ML/D occurring at that speed. The increase in ML/D over a Mach 0.85 geometry is a result of speed increasing faster than the lift to drag ratio (L/D) decreases. With the current

Fig. 15 BWB 6-250B configuration.

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Fig. 16 BWB 6-250B pressure contours. CFL3DV6, no N/P or winglet. Airfoil shape and camber were adjusted by CDISC to achieve a smooth chordwise and spanwise pressure distribution, limit shock strength, and achieve a center of pressure corresponding to the c.g. location determined by WingMOD. Additionally, this inverse design process was subject to constraints on airfoil thickness, leading edge radius, trailing edge closure angle, pressure vessel height, and spanload. Results Fig. 16 shows CFL3D predicted pressure contours and chordwise pressure distributions for the wing. The pressure distributions show a very weak inboard shock well ahead of the engine inlet location with a more pronounced outboard shock and a tendency to double shock near the wing tip. The double shock tendency is typical of sections that are under loaded. The same techniques used thus far could be used to tailor the spanload and airfoils to address this double shock, though judging from the L/D level, there does not seem to be a significant penalty associated with this characteristic at the tip. Pitching moment variation with CL is shown in Fig. 17. In the cruise CL range, pitching moment is close to zero, as it should be for trimmed cruise. Buffet onset, as defined by the break in the pitching moment curve, does not occur until well beyond 1.3gs (1.3 times cruise CL), and the pitch break is mild, indicating that post-buffet pitch-up characteristics will not be severe. Fig. 18 shows the ML/D of the configuration at Mach 0.93, 0.94, and 0.95 relative to a more refined Mach 0.85 BWB with a similar mission. At the design cruise Mach number of 0.93, the BWB 6-250B is at 92% of the peak ML/D of the Mach 0.85 configuration. As

Fig. 17 BWB 6-250B pressure contours. CFL3DV6, no N/P or winglet.


100 ML/D (% ML/D Max) 95 90 85 80 75 70 65 60 0.10 0.15 0.20 0.25 CL 0.30 0.35 0.40 BWB 6-250B M=0.93 M=0.94 M=0.95 BWB 5-250 M=0.85

Fig. 18 Mach times lift to drag ratio of BWB 6-250B versus 5-250. CFL3DV6, no N/P or winglet.

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expected, the ML/D drops off as Mach number is increased beyond the cruise Mach number. This drag rise can be seen in Fig. 19. As indicated, drag divergence, as defined by a slope of 0.05 of the drag rise curve, happens just beyond Mach 0.93, indicating that the wing is well designed to cruise at Mach 0.93.
Compressibility Drag

MDD = 0.932

0.5

0.6

0.7

0.8

0.9

1.0

Mach

Fig. 19 Compressibility drag Mach trend. Conclusions A dual CFD/MDO design study was conducted to develop a Mach 0.93 BWB. CFL3D coupled to CDISC was used to create an aerodynamically efficient baseline design, which was then optimized in WingMOD for minimum take-off weight, subject to many non-aerodynamic constraints not considered in the baseline design. CFL3D with CDISC was again used to refine the WingMOD optimized design. Analysis of the final design indicated that it achieved reasonable L/D and a drag divergence Mach number just beyond 0.93. Although additional CFD work is needed to quantify drag stemming from propulsion airframe interference, the work done so far indicates good potential for creating a BWB that performs well at Mach 0.93. Acknowledgement The authors gratefully acknowledges the contributions of the BWB team, especially the following individuals who were directly involved with or contributed supporting data for the study described in this paper: Ron Fox, Antonio Gonzales, Ron Kawai, Roger Lyon, and Jennifer Whitlock.

References [1] Liebeck, R. H., Design of the Blended-WingBody Subsonic Transport, 2002 Wright Brothers Lecture, AIAA Paper 2002-0002, Jan. 2002. [2] Liebeck, R. H., Page, M. A., Rawdon, B. K., Blended-Wing-Body Subsonic Commercial Transport, AIAA Paper 98-0438, Jan. 1998. [3] Blended-Wing-Body Technology Study, Final Report, NASA Contract NAS1-20275, Boeing Report CRAD-9405-TR-3780, Oct. 1997. [4] http://cfl3d.larc.nasa.gov/Cfl3dv6/cfl3dv6.html [5] Pelkman, R.A., Key Findings and Conclusions from an NTF Wind Tunnel Test of an Initial Blended-Wing-Body Concept, NASA Contract NAS1-20268, Boeing Report No. CRAD-9402TR-3985, Aug. 1998. [6] Campbell, R. L., Efficient Viscous Design of Realistic Aircraft Configurations, AIAA Paper 98-2539, June 1998. [7] Wakayama, S., Kroo, I., Subsonic Wing Planform Design Using Multidisciplinary Optimization, Journal of Aircraft, Vol. 32, No. 4, Jul.-Aug. 1995, pp.746-753. [8] Wakayama, S., Lifting Surface Design Using Multidisciplinary Optimization, Ph.D. Thesis, Stanford University, Dec. 1994. [9] Wakayama, S., Blended-Wing-Body Optimization Problem Setup, AIAA Paper 20004740, Sep. 2000. [10] Roman, D., Allan, J.B., Liebeck, R.H., Aerodynamic Design Challenges of The BlendedWing-Body Subsonic Transport, AIAA Paper 2000-4335, June 2000. [11] Wakayama, S., Multidisciplinary Optimization of the Blended-Wing-Body, AIAA Paper 98-4938, Sep. 1998. [12] Shevell, R.S., Fundamentals of Flight, 2nd Ed., Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1989. [13] Willcox, K., Wakayama, S., Simultaneous Optimization of a Multiple-Aircraft Family, AIAA Paper 2002-1423, Apr. 2002. [14] Gilmore, R., Wakayama, S., Roman, D., Optimization of High-Subsonic Blended-WingBody Configurations, AIAA Paper 2002-5666, Sep. 2002.

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