Morphing Aircraft at Swansea University

Next Seminar on Morphing Aircraft


State-of-the-art and challenges of morphing wing conceptual design
 Roeland de Breuker (Technical University of Delft, Netherlands)

Morphing wing technology has existed since the dawn of aviation. Otto Lilienthal already used morphing in his glider experiments end of the 19th century. Morphing concepts have been developed throughout the history of aviation, but coordinated and dedicated research effort has started late 1980s early 1990s in the USA, and later in Europe. This presentation will give an overview of the research efforts that have been carried out on the conceptual design methodologies for morphing wings that have been developed the past 20 years. Based on this overview the shortcomings of the current conceptual design methodologies are identified, and new approaches are proposed to improve the design of morphing wings.

Morphing Concepts for Improved Aircraft Performance
Jonathan Cooper (University of Bristol)

This talk will describe ongoing work at the University of Bristol, as part of the NOVEMOR FP7 project, on several performance morphing and planform morphing approaches aiming to improve the performance of commercial aircraft and UAVs. Results from numerical simulations will be presented along with plans for experimental validation.

Hierarchical Models of Morphing Aircraft
 Michael I. Friswell (Swansea University)

The morphing design challenge is to integrate the system modelling, optimization and control across the length scales: from deformable materials and actuators (for example anisotropic skins), through compliant substructures (for example compliant rubs for variable camber), to performance models at the conceptual design level. This paper gives an overview of the morphing aircraft problem, together with suggestions for the multi-physics and multi-scale modelling hierarchy. Examples of the structures and models at different length scales, and how they interact, are given.

Investigation of a Multi-orientated Non-planar Self-Trimming Wing
 Askin T. Isikveren (Bauhaus Luftfahrt e.V, Germany)

This seminar will discuss the on-going investigation and results associated with a non-planar C-wing configuration designed for a tailless universally-electric passenger aircraft. The focus of the research is to investigate whether such an unusual and more aerodynamically efficient wing layout can perform and fulfil stability and control requirements without fuselage mounted horizontal surfaces. The C-wing assembly is based on an open, multi-orientated and continuous three-surface configuration comprising the Main Wing (MW), the Side Wing (SW) and the Top Wing (TW). Results have hitherto shown that it is capable of considerably reducing the vortex-induced drag during cruise compared to a planar wing with similar surface area. This talk will present the predicted wing behaviour and outline requirements for three different case scenarios: (1) 1g steady, level flight; (2) take-off rotation; and, (3) go around. The results of the simulations, conducted using a Vortex Lattice Method for aerodynamics and coded in MATLAB, show that the contribution of the TW to stability and control can deliver adequate performance and handling of the aircraft for the three specified flight conditions. However, it has been observed that the required value of down-force necessary to rotate the aircraft during take-off cannot be met with a TW surface absent of leading and trailing edge surfaces and/or application of an active compliant system. Therefore, in order to meet this need and also expand the stability and control authority of this non-planar wing configuration, additional options with regards to adaptive mechanisms are to be reviewed.

Design of a Winglet Active Trailing Edge Demonstrator with Morphing Attachment
 Martin Herring (EADS Innovation Works)

The talk will describe the aerodynamic design work undertaken by EADS-UK to support the design of a practical engineering demonstrator of a Winglet Active Trailing Edge (WATE) device, performed as part of a European FP7 project. The challenge of accommodating an actuator in a confined space will be discussed, with an emphasis on the aerodynamic design.  The project is still in the early stages, but the motivation for studying the WATE is the potential for load alleviation and off-design performance improvements. A small passive "morphing" part between the inner end of the WATE and the winglet may help to improve drag - which remains under investigation.

Compliant Mechanisms as Enabling Technology for Morphing
 L. F. Campanile, Alexander Hasse & R. Jähne (EMPA, Switzerland)

Large deformations under high loads are the classical task of machine engineering. However, classical machine engineering is not compatible with the principles of lightweight structures. The discontinuities present in conventional bearings and hinges and the sub-optimal transfer at the rolling or sliding interfaces (based on point or line loads) leads to strong weight penalties. Compliant mechanisms and solid-state hinges do not need such interfaces and therefore can be designed as lightweight structures. Due to this reason, compliant systems are a key technology for morphing wings. The authors dealt with lightweight shape-adaptable structures and compliant systems for many years, first at DLR, then at Empa/ETH and now also with the Empa spin-off Monolitix AG, which develops and market compliant systems for various application fields. The achievements of the last years in this very promising technology will be the topic of the presentation, which will include basic concepts, an insight into the methods and an overview of practical applications.

The Fish Bone Active Camber Morphing Concept
 Ben K.S. Woods (Swansea University)

The Fish Bone Active Camber (FishBAC) concept has recently been introduced as a compliant, high authority camber morphing structure applicable to a wide range of applications, including fixed wing aircraft, rotorcraft, and wind turbines. To motivate consideration of this design over existing technology, a comparison is made between a NACA 0012 baseline airfoil with a typical discrete trailing edge flap and the same baseline airfoil employing the FishBAC structure. Low speed wind tunnel testing is carried out over a range of camber deformations and angles of attack. The FishBAC shows significantly lower drag, leading to improvements in lift efficiency on the order of 25%.

Optimal Design of Morphing Aerostructure
 Matthew Santer (Imperial College)

The design of aerospace systems which, upon actuation, can undergo large shape changes in order to accommodate a particular aerodynamic environment is a challenging task and one that lends itself to the use of computational optimization techniques. The use of such multi-disciplinary techniques — which incorporate both structural and aerodynamic analyses — permit previously-intractable design spaces to be explored and potentially unintuitive solutions to be found. This presentation will discuss the application of these methods to the design of morphing leading edges and shock control devices.





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