The purpose of this paper is to analyse the effects of morphing on the aeroelastic behaviour of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) wings to make an emphasis on the required aeroelastic tailoring starting from the conceptual design of the morphing mechanisms.
In this study, flutter and divergence characteristics of a fully morphing wing design were discussed to show the dilapidating effect of morphing on the related parameters. The morphing wings were intended to achieve a high efficiency at different flight phases; thus, various morphing concepts were integrated into a UAV wing structure. Although it is considered beneficial to have the morphing capabilities to avoid the failure due to a possible wear out in flutter and divergence parameters; it is necessary to include the aeroelastic analyses at the early design phases. This study utilizes a combination of a reduced order structural model and Theodorsen unsteady aerodynamic model as primary analyses tools for flutter and divergence. The analyses were conducted by using an in-house developed pk-algorithm coupled with a commercial finite element analysis (FEA) tool. This approach yielded a fast solution capacity because of the state-space form used.
Analyses conducted showed that transition between take-off, climb, cruise and loiter phases yield a change in the flutter and divergence speeds as high as 138 and 305 per cent, respectively.
The research showed that an extensive aeroelastic investigation was required for morphing wing designs to achieve a failure safe design.
The research intends to highlight the possible deteriorating effects on structural design of morphing UAV wings by focusing on the aeroelastic characteristics. In addition to that, fundamental morphing concepts are compared in terms of the order of magnitude of their deteriorating effects.
Ünlüsoy, L. and Yaman, Y. (2017), "Aeroelastic behaviour of UAV wings due to morphing", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 89 No. 1, pp. 30-38. https://doi.org/10.1108/AEAT-12-2014-0217Download as .RIS
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