Morphing wingtip structure based on active inflatable honeycomb and shape memory polymer composite skin: a conceptual work

Jian Sun, Linzhe Du, Fabrizio Scarpa*, Yanju Liu, Jinsong Leng*

*Corresponding author for this work

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

Abstract

Morphing wingtip technology could improve the reduction of the induced drag, fuel consumption, and take-off and landing distances in fixed wing configurations. We describe in this work a morphing winglet concept based on active inflatable honeycombs and Shape Memory Polymer Composite (SMPC) skins. The combination of the two materials and structural subsystems allow the winglet deployment, with a morphing skin able to withstand the aerodynamic loading, also through the use of distributed pneumatic muscle fibers. An actuation geometric and mechanical model that represents the morphing wingtip concept is developed and analyzed. A morphing wingtip prototype is also fabricated to demonstrate the kinematics and actuation of the concept. Experiments and simulations show agreement about the output angle/input pressure relationship necessary for the wingtip deployment.
Original languageEnglish
Article number106541
Number of pages11
JournalAerospace Science and Technology
Volume111
Early online date26 Jan 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 11802076, No. 11632005), and ?the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities? (Grant No. HIT. NSRIF. 201822). J. Sun would also like to thank CSC (Chinese Scholarship Council) for funding his research work at the University of Bristol. FS is also grateful to the European Commission for the FP7-AAT-2012-RTD-L0-341509 MorpheElle project that provided the infrastructure logistics of the activities described in this paper.

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 11802076 , No. 11632005 ), and “the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities ” (Grant No. HIT. NSRIF. 201822 ). J. Sun would also like to thank CSC ( Chinese Scholarship Council ) for funding his research work at the University of Bristol. FS is also grateful to the European Commission for the FP7-AAT-2012-RTD-L0-341509 MorpheElle project that provided the infrastructure logistics of the activities described in this paper.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021

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