This study aims at investigating the synergy between powertrain and structure within the design process of a fixed-wing tail-sitter unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The UAV is equipped with a pure-electric power system and has vertical take-off and landing capabilities (VTOL). The problem is addressed by running a contemporary optimization of the parameters of both the powertrain and the UAV’s structure, in order to maximize electric endurance and payload weight through the usage of a performant multi-objective evolutionary algorithm named SMS-EMOA. Three different designs are selected, discussed and compared with literature results on the same UAV to quantify the increase of payload and cruise time that can be obtained by exploiting the synergy between structure and powertrain. The potentiality of furtherly improving payload through the usage of multi-functional panels, while keeping the same endurance, is also quantified and compared with the technologies proposed in literature.
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