Multistable Tape-Spring Assemblies for Morphing Aerofoil Applications

S Daynes, KD Potter, PM Weaver

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)


Changing the aerodynamic forces acting on an aerofoil is most commonly done by camber change using an actuated pin-jointed control surface at the trailing edge. There can be significant mass penalties with such devices and achieving a smooth camber variation is difficult. This work presents a design for an aerofoil section which has at least two stable camber geometries. The aerofoil’s multistability derives from the use of a novel tape-spring assembly. A tape-spring is effectively a cylindrical shell. They possess the unusual mechanical property of being able to be folded elastically and lock when straightened. The design case considered is based on a typical helicopter main rotor blade. The multistable device is used to improve the performance of the rotor blade during the transition between hover and forward flight. Force-displacement characteristics of the flap are found experimentally and compared with finite element and analytical models. Both modelling techniques are in good agreement with the manufactured demonstrator.
Translated title of the contributionMultistable Tape-Spring Assemblies for Morphing Aerofoil Applications
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication19th International Conference on Adaptive Structures and Technologies (ICAST), Ascona, Switzerland
Pages1 - 9
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 6 Oct 2008

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