Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Robert A. Canfield, PhD


This study established a weight optimized configuration design of a joined-wing sensor-craft. The joined-wing aircraft concept fulfills a proposed long-endurance surveillance mission that contains an antenna structure embedded in the wing skin. The analysis was completed utilizing structural optimization, aerodynamic analyses, and response surface methodology. A sample of 62 joined-wing configurations were weight optimized. Each optimized structure was determined through a change of skin, spar, and rib thickness in the wing box by determining trimmed maneuver and gust conditions for critical flight mission points. Since the joined-wing concept has non-linear deformation characteristics, the structural optimization used both strain and buckling limits. The collection of the optimized data points was combined to create a response surface to predict the best joined-wing geometric configuration. Each configuration varied one of six key geometric variables. The geometric configuration variables included front wing sweep, aft wing sweep, outboard wing sweep, joint location, vertical offset, and thickness to chord ratio.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number