Flow Analysis of Apache Wingsuit
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This thesis is a study of the aerodynamics of a generic model of the Apache wingsuit subjected to angle displacements at high velocity. The Apache wingsuit is a wing equipped jumpsuit, used to enhance the experience of skydiving by producing glide capability. The origin of this case is from an event were unstable behaviour was experienced by the pilot when a dive at 83 m/s (~300 km/h) was followed by an increase of angle of attack which triggered the incident.
Aerodynamics regards a big number of phenomena. Many studies have been done on airplanes but not many on wingsuits and an important feature is that it is made out of fabric, which separates it a lot from the physical attributes which apply to an airplane. Basic divergence was considered for it applies well also for a wingsuit regarding physical features.
The study aims to recreate these circumstances to determine whether the aerodynamics of the wingsuit are of unstable nature. A generic wingsuit model CAD model was generated in symmetry and in asymmetry through ANSA based on manufacture measurements and visual reference. Moments and forces were monitored while angle displacements were performed in CFD simulations in STAR-CCM+. Solutions were performed in steady state and seemed to show unreliable convergence above 40 degrees angle of attack were stall was introduced. The model did not reveal any unstable characteristics of the symmetric wingsuit and the asymmetric model did not show of any profound force generation.
There seemed to be an overproduction of head-down pitch moment, but whether this was a mistake in design of an actual feature of the Apache is not confirmed.

Linköpings University
Saturday, September 1, 2012
Author Name: 
Karl Nyberg