Interpretation of Bending/Torsion Coupling for Swept, Nonhomogenous Wings

Olivia A Stodieck, Jonathan E Cooper, Paul M Weaver

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

15 Citations (Scopus)
2192 Downloads (Pure)


The wide range of conflicting definitions of the axis on a general swept, nonuniform, nonhomogenous wing about which there is no bending/torsion coupling is reviewed. A generalization of these definitions is made, with an emphasis on whether deflections and loads on a local streamwise section or the entire wing is considered. Determining this axis enables a better understanding as to why various aeroelastic tailoring and adaptive stiffness solutions are effective for flutter suppression and gust loads suppression applications. It is demonstrated, using a flexibility matrix approach, that the loading case must be considered in order to be able to accurately determine the flexural axis of a typical wing structure. The methodology is demonstrated using three numerical models: a simple swept wing; an aluminum wing box; and a tow-steered, variable stiffness, composite plate wing. Finally, the sensitivity of the flexural axis is considered, and it is shown that the global flexural axis is much more sensitive to modeling or measurement errors than the local flexural axis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)892-899
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Aircraft
Issue number4
Early online date23 Dec 2015
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016


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