Design of a Morphing Wing tip

Jonathan Cooper, Imene Chekkal, Ronald Cheung, Christopher Wales, Naomi Allen, Simon lawson, Andrew Peace, Robbie Cook, Paul Standen, Simon Hancock, Giovanni Carossa

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

44 Citations (Scopus)
478 Downloads (Pure)


An initial design of a morphing wing-tip for a Regional Jet aircraft is developed and evaluated. The adaptive wing-tip concept is based upon a chiral type internal structure, enabling controlled cant angle orientation, camber and twist throughout the flight envelope. A baseline Turbo-Fan Aircraft configuration model is used as the benchmark to assess the device. CFD based aerodynamics are used to evaluate the required design configurations for the device at different points across the flight envelope in terms of lift/drag and bending moment distribution along the span, complemented by panel method based gust load computations. Detailed studies are performed to show how the chiral structure can facilitate the required shape changes in twist, camber and cant. Actuator requirements and limitations are assessed, along with an evaluation of the aerodynamic gains from the inclusion of the device versus power and weight penalties. For a typical mission it was found that savings of around 2% in fuel weight are possible using the morphing wing-tip device. A similar reduction in weight due to passive gust loads alleviation is also possible with a slight change of configuration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1394-1403
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Aircraft
Issue number5
Early online date23 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2015


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