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Morphing wing with skin discontinuity – kinematic concept

Andrzej Tarnowski (Institute of Aeronautics and Applied Mechanics, Warsaw University of Technology, Warsaw, Poland)

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Article publication date: 3 July 2017




This paper aims to describe the concept of morphing tailless aircraft with discontinuous skin and its preliminary kinematic solution. Project assumptions, next steps and expected results are briefly presented.


Multidisciplinary numerical optimization will be used to determine control allocation for wing segments rotation. Wing demonstrator will be fabricated and tested in wind tunnel. Results will be used in construction of flying model and design of its control system. Flight data of morphing demonstrator and reference aircraft will result in comparative analysis of both technologies.


Proposed design combines advantages of wing morphing without complications of wing’s structure elastic deformation. Better performance, stability and maneuverability is expected due to wing’s construction which is entirely composed of unconnected wing segments. Independent control of each segment allows for free modeling of spanwise lift force distribution.


Nonlinear multipoint distribution of wing twist as the only mechanism for control and flight performance optimization has never been studied or constructed. Planned wind tunnel investigation of such complex aerodynamic structure has not been previously published and will be an original contribution to the development of aviation and in particular to the aerodynamics of wing with discontinuous skin.



Tarnowski, A. (2017), "Morphing wing with skin discontinuity – kinematic concept", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 89 No. 4, pp. 535-546.



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