The objective of this paper is to develop an actuation system utilizing smart materials such as shape memory alloys (SMA) to control the position of an aircraft's flaps.
The proposed smart wing consisted of SMA springs that were fixed at one end to the wing box toward the leading edge of the airfoil. The other end of each spring was attached tangentially to a rotating cylinder fixed to the flap. The springs were arranged in an upper and a lower layer to cause rotation of the flap in both the upward and downward directions. The spring actuators were controlled by the introduction of heat resulting from the applied current. A prototype of the smart wing was developed and tested to demonstrate the design concept.
A prototype of a smart actuation system for controlling the flaps of an aircraft was successfully developed. Through the experimental and theoretical analyses conducted, the design was validated and showed strong potential for future application.
The proposed concept can be applied to other aircraft systems such as ailerons, slats, rudders and elevators.
The prototype of a smart wing is unique. It utilizes smart materials for aircraft flap actuation. The concept can be applied on ailerons, slats, rudders and elevators.
Hutapea, P., Kim, J., Guion, A., Hanna, C. and Heulitt, N. (2008), "Development of a smart wing", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 80 No. 4, pp. 439-444. https://doi.org/10.1108/00022660810882791
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