The ICARUS Project

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Group Design Project
A research project to study the aerodynamic performance of wingsuits to develop design improvements and to extend the human glide flight envelope and the sport’s safety
Group Members
Azib Amin, Marcus Bridgland, James Francis, Phat Hung, Andrew Honey, Justin Imaz, Nurdaulet Sagyndyk, Oliver Strong

Supervisors
Dr. Kamal Djidjeli, Dr. Angelo Grubisic

Supporters
OR3D

Wingsuit flying is one of the most dangerous sports around, with hundreds of brave men and women losing their lives in the pursuit of human flight. With wingsuit stall and aerodynamics not fully understood, fatalities are only increasing. The Icarus Project thus aimed to investigate the aerodynamic performance of wingsuits, to develop design improvements that extend the human glide flight envelope and improve wingsuit safety margins. New Ram Air Intakes were developed with a variable open-area concept to better inflate and pressurise the wingsuit, and achieve the rigid body required for optimal wingsuit flying. A novel method of Boundary Layer Re-energisation was incorporated by altering the wingsuit geometry via Blowing holes to reduce the adverse pressure gradient experienced. This would help to improve stall characteristics at high Angles-of-Attack. Our designs were created using computational fluid dynamics (CFD), allowing us to identify key fluid dynamic properties of each configuration before being tested experimentally in the Wind Tunnels. Our designs were incorporated onto the Icarus1 wingsuit to get the overall performance increases expected from our new design modifications. Experimental tests were carried out on a 3D printed scaled wingsuit model alongside CFD simulations of the same model for validation. Several different manufacturing techniques were utilised within the project to create our designs for testing and suit integration. A realistic wingsuit arm was created using a CNC milling machine; Intakes produced by a vacuum form machine; and the Jedei1 wingsuit through 3D printed ABS.

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