Design, Manufacture and Wind Tunnel Test of a Modular FishBAC Wing with Novel 3D Printed Skins

Andres E Rivero, Stephane F B Fournier, Rafael M Heeb, Ben K S Woods*

*Corresponding author for this work

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

5 Citations (Scopus)
172 Downloads (Pure)


This paper introduces a new modular Fish Bone Active Camber morphing wing with novel 3D printed skin panels. These skin panels are printed using two different Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) formulations: a soft, high strain formulation for the deformable membrane of the skin, reinforced with a stiffer formulation for the stringers and mounting tabs. Additionally, this is the first FishBAC device designed to be modular in its installation and actuation. Therefore, all components can be removed and replaced for maintenance purposes without having to remove or disassemble other parts. A 1 m span, 0.27 m chord morphing wing with a 25% chord FishBAC was built and tested mechanically and in a low-speed wind tunnel. Results show that the new design is capable of achieving the same large changes in airfoil lift coefficient (approximate ΔCL≈0.55) with a low drag penalty seen in previous FishBAC work, but with a much simpler, practical and modular design. Additionally, the device shows a change in the pitching moment coefficient of ΔCM≈0.1, which shows the potential that the FishBAC has as a control surface.
Original languageEnglish
Article number652
Number of pages19
JournalApplied Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 723491 as part of SABRE: Shape Adaptive Blades for Rotorcraft Efficiency.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Camber morphing airfoil
  • composite aerostructure
  • 3D printing
  • morphing skins
  • FishBAC
  • wind tunnel testing
  • manufacture
  • Material testing


Dive into the research topics of 'Design, Manufacture and Wind Tunnel Test of a Modular FishBAC Wing with Novel 3D Printed Skins'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this