Aeroelastic model and analysis of an active camber morphing wing

Jiaying Zhang, Alexander D. Shaw, Chen Wang, Huaiyuan Gu, Mohammadreza Amoozgar, Michael I. Friswell, Benjamin K.S. Woods

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)


Morphing aircraft structures usually introduce greater compliance into aerodynamic sections, and therefore will affect the aeroelasticity with the potential risk of increased flutter. A low-fidelity model of an active camber morphing wing and its aeroelastic model are developed in order to investigate the potential critical speed by exploiting its chord-wise dimension and flexibility. Such a model may be used for conceptual design, where low fidelity models are used to explore and optimise a wide range of configurations. The morphing camber concept is implemented using a continuous representation of a two-segment structure with a rigid segment and a deformable part. The aeroelastic model is developed based on both steady and unsteady aerodynamic models, so that different parameters can be easily modified to examine changes in the flutter solutions. Of particular interest are the ratio of the morphing segment length to the chord, and its relative stiffness, as such morphing camber is potential operated using the deformable part as a flap. By comparing the results of the quasi-steady and unsteady aerodynamic models, it is shown that the quasi-steady aerodynamic model gives a more conservative prediction of the flutter speed. In addition, responses in phase space are simulated to show the fundamental aeroelastic behaviour of the morphing camber wing. It is also shown that the active compliant segment can be used to stabilise the morphing aircraft by using feedback control. This paper provides a system-level insight through mathematical modelling, parameter analysis and feedback control into dynamics applications of morphing camber.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106534
Number of pages19
JournalAerospace Science and Technology
Early online date28 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2021


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