Simulation of the Aerodynamics of Light Aircraft

HPC-Competence Center

Arctur prides itself in not being just another HPC infrastructure provider, but rather one which always provides personal support even to users which are not so knowledgeable of HPC, so ensuring that every HPC project achieves or even surpasses user expectations. Their motto is “More than just HPC.” As an SME, they understand the issues that other SMEs face when dealing with HPC.


The Enterprise

Pipistrel is a Slovenian SME manufacturer of light aircraft, renowned for innovation, pioneering, performance and efficiency. Pipistrel’s main products are one to four-seater single engine piston aircraft. Its main R&D activities are aerodynamics, structures, CAD design, mechanical design, rapid prototyping, electronics design and structural and flight testing.


How HPC makes the difference


Pipistrel ran more demanding, higher fidelity simulations

This success story is an outcome of Fortissimo project(*). The use of HPC allowed Pipistrel to run simulations of a higher fidelity than was possible with its in-house systems. These simulations closely modeled real-world behavior
and gave accurate information on how the aircraft would behave in flight.

To simulate the flow with the required degree of accuracy, a large computer model was used. A typical large model would run in approximately 2 to 3 days on the HPC system. Such a problem would either be too big for the in-house systems or would take too long to run (around 20 to 30 days) to be part of an effective design process. The use of HPC therefore enables Pipistrel to obtain results of much more complex simulations in a reasonable time. It also offers a cost-effective solution to running such large simulations.

The use of HPC is very valuable during a design phase of future aircraft. HPC can be used to run much more demanding simulations that improve the fidelity of results. The higher resolution simulations give more and better data that can be incorporated into each design phase. This both accelerates the design phase and reduces the number of the design cycles.


(*)The Fortissimo project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research,
technological development and demonstration under grant agreement No 609029