Computational Analysis of Integrated Engine Exhaust Nozzle on a Supersonic Fighter Aircraft


1 Department of Aerospace Engineering, College of Aeronautical Engineering, National University of Sciences and Technology, H-12, Islamabad, Pakistan

2 Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, IAA, Air University, Islamabad 44000, Pakistan


A unique approach of analyzing jet exhaust nozzle integrated to aircraft and propulsion system is presented in this paper. Engine exhaust nozzle is usually omitted in Wind Tunnel Testing and numerical analysis of aircraft due to complexities involved in integration of nozzle and presence of high pressure / temperature inside exhaust nozzle. Also, the flow properties are non-uniform and highly turbulent in the vicinity of nozzle. Therefore, exhaust nozzle is usually analyzed in isolation and these results often lead to inaccuracies from actual scenario where nozzle is integrated with aircraft and its propulsion system. This research aims to integrate engine exhaust nozzle on a supersonic fighter aircraft and analyze its flow characteristics and variation in performance parameters due to its integration. Engine propulsion characteristics and parameters such as nozzle inlet temperature and total pressure have been analyzed through an in-house validated engine analytical model developed by some of the authors of this study. In the first part of paper, exhaust plume structure has been analyzed to study the flow behaviour (flow turbulence and flow distortion etc) at nozzle exit. Later, nozzle performance parameters such as Exit Velocity, Nozzle Pressure Ratio (NPR), Engine Pressure Ratio (EPR), and Engine Temperature Ratio (ETR) have been calculated when exhaust nozzle is integrated with the aircraft. Finally, the results are compared and validated with analytical calculations to compare the performance of nozzle when it is in isolation and when it is integrated on aircraft. It is observed that nozzle flow has no significant effect on aircraft major surfaces such as fuselage, wing upper and lower surfaces, and nose section. However, there is a prominent effect of exhaust nozzle flow on horizontal stabilizers, vertical tail and rear fuselage area of the aircraft. An average difference of 18% in NPR, 12% in EPR, and 9% in ETR is observed between integrated nozzle and isolated nozzle which further signifies the importance of integrating exhaust nozzle in aircraft analysis. This proposed methodology will allow more accurate analysis of the effects of exhaust nozzle on the overall performance of aircraft. The methodology can further be used for proposing design changes in existing nozzle configurations.