Aerodynamic and aeroacoustic performance of airfoils with morphing structures

Qing Ai*, Mahdi Azarpeyvand, Xavier Lachenal, Paul M. Weaver

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)
713 Downloads (Pure)


Aerodynamic and aeroacoustic performance of airfoils fitted with morphing trailing edges are investigated using a coupled structure/fluid/noise model. The control of the flow over the surface of an airfoil using shape optimization techniques can significantly improve the load distribution along the chord and span lengths whilst minimising noise generation. In this study, a NACA 63-418 airfoil is fitted with a morphing flap and various morphing profiles are considered with two features that distinguish them from conventional flaps: they are conformal and do not rely on conventional internal mechanisms. A novel design of a morphing flap using a zero Poisson's ratio honeycomb core with tailored bending stiffness is developed and investigated using the finite element model. Whilst tailoring the bending stiffness along the chord of the flap yields large flap deflections, it also enables profile tailoring of the deformed structure which is shown to significantly affect airfoil noise generation. The aeroacoustic behaviour of the airfoil is studied using a semi-empirical airfoil noise prediction model. Results show that the morphing flap can effectively reduce the airfoil trailing edge noise over a wide range of flow speeds and angles of attack. It is also shown that appropriate morphing profile tailoring improves the effect of morphing trailing edge on the aerodynamic and aeroacoustic performance of the airfoil.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1325-1339
Number of pages15
JournalWind Energy
Issue number7
Early online date16 Sept 2015
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jun 2016


  • Airfoil self-noise
  • Morphing trailing edge
  • Stiffness tailoring
  • Zero Poisson's ratio honeycomb core


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