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Design and analysis of a long-range business jet 

10 November 2022

The first group of University of Canterbury (UC) students minoring in Aerospace Engineering got off to a flying start with the design of new long-range business jet concepts.


Business jet design example: Thrust-to-weight ratio: 0.32 , Wing loading: 410 kg/m2, Maximum take-off weight: 79,200 kg, Engines: 2×PW1000G, Wing span: 39 m, Length: 37 m, Field length = 1860 mm, Cruise speed = 250 m/s @35000 ft

Students were tasked with individually designing a new class of aircraft to the following specifications:  

  • Transport 80 business class passengers and their associated baggage over a range of 6000 nautical miles at a cruise speed equal to or better than existing competitive services.  
  • To provide the passengers with at least equivalent comfort and service levels to those currently offered for business travellers.  
  • To operate from regional airports.  
  • At a cruise height of 35,000 ft, the aircraft must be able to climb up to the next flight level with a climb rate of at least 300 fpm.  
  • A crew of 2 pilots and 4 cabin attendants. 
Design and analysis of a long-range business jet  3 Mechanical Engineering Senior Lecturer Dr Stephen Daynes

The project saw impressive contributions from the 40 students. For many of them, this was their first experience in aerospace engineering. This enterprise was a multidisciplinary design and optimisation project covering technical fields such as aerodynamics, propulsion, cabin layout, landing gear, stability, loads, and flight mechanics. Many of the designs received were well-optimised. An example of some of the design concepts is demonstrated above.  

The Aerospace Engineering programme is coordinated by Mechanical Engineering Senior Lecturer Dr Stephen Daynes, whose expertise includes the design and analysis of lightweight aerospace structures.  

“It’s great to finally get this aerospace degree off the ground and to see such great design work from the students being produced in such a short space of time.” Dr Daynes says. “We’ve also had great support with guest lecturers from the industry and the chance to go on a field trip to the Air New Zealand/Pratt & Whitney Christchurch Engine Centre to see theory being put into practice.”  

UC offers the only undergraduate Aerospace degree in Aotearoa. This Aerospace minor is part of the student’s Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) degree, providing them with an enhanced pathway into the aerospace industry in Ōtautahi Christchurch, Aotearoa New Zealand, and beyond.  

Aerospace Course Group Photo ENME362 Aerospace Engineering Design group photo
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