The Design, Verification, and Validation of a Personal Hydrofoil Craft

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Virginia Tech

The VT i-Ship Lab has been assigned the task of designing and building a Personal Hydrofoil Craft capable of carrying two people, featuring the distinctive capabilities of foiling and diving. This thesis examines the attributes of fully submerged hydrofoils and their prospective advancements. Diverse configurations of fully submerged hydrofoils are scrutinized, accompanied by an exploration of their respective stability characteristics. A comprehensive analysis is conducted on the design space trade-offs, incorporating potential flow-based methodologies such as the lifting line and vortex lattice methods, encompassing considerations for the free surface, structural computations, and propulsion optimization. In conjunction with the design study computational fluid dynamics is employed to verify the estimated values and to fine-tune the system allowing for a robust low-fidelity system that can quickly estimate the appropriate hydrofoil arrangement for the desired conditions. Various hydrofoil and craft configurations are explored discussing the trade-offs with a final design being chosen and a thorough mechanical design pursued.

hydrofoil, high-speed craft, computational fluid dynamics, validation, verification, design optimization