Design and testing of an active aircraft wing spar with bending-torsion coupling




Pereira da Silva, Carlos Manuel Baptista

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An experimental investigation on active aeroelastic aircraft structures with bending-torsion coupling properties is presented. Two techniques for vibration and flutter alleviation are studied and tested. The passive approach is based on the use of carbon composite spars with misaligned fibres. The second technique involves an active spar with a multi-cross section embedded with PZT actuators. A wing was designed and manufactured for testing in a wind tunnel and subsequently implemented on a demonstrator platform for flight testing. Results show that a carefully designed misalignment of the fibres can lead to significant performance increase. The active system based on PZT actuators with a linear controller exhibits significant improvements in aeroelastic performance compared to the passive system. The research findings lead to the conclusion that significant vibration reduction and flutter envelope extension can be achieved using the proposed strategies.



airplane wings