Aircraft control via variable cant-angle winglets

P Bourdin, A Gatto, MI Friswell

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

89 Citations (Scopus)


This paper investigates a novel method for the control of ‘morphing’ aircraft. The concept consists of a pair of winglets with adjustable cant angle, independently actuated and mounted at the tips of a baseline flying wing. The general philosophy behind the concept was that for specific flight conditions such as a coordinated turn, use of two control devices would be sufficient for adequate control. Computations with a vortex lattice model and subsequent wind tunnel tests demonstrate the viability of the concept, with individual and/or dual winglet deflection producing multi-axis coupled control moments. Comparisons between the experimental and computational results showed reasonable to good agreement, with the major discrepancies thought to be due to wind-tunnel model aeroelastic effects.
Translated title of the contributionAircraft control via variable cant-angle winglets
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)414 - 423
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Aircraft
Volume45 (2)
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2008

Bibliographical note

Publisher: AIAA American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics


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