Numerical Investigations of Subscale Flexible High Aspect Ratio Aircraft on a Dynamic Wind Tunnel Rig

Punsara D Banneheka Navaratna, Alessandro Pontillo, Djamel Rezgui, Mark H Lowenberg , Simon A Neild, Jonathan E Cooper

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

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High aspect ratio wings have been a major topic for research due to their capability to improve the aerodynamic efficiency of modern aircraft. Many numerical studies have shown their flexibility causing nonlinearity through geometric effects and their impact on internal loads and dynamics, such as reduced flutter speed and coupling with the aircraft body causing body freedom flutter. Experimental work is present in the literature for validation of cantilever wing models but only a few have implemented wind tunnel testing on dynamically-mounted full-span aircraft models. The work presented here develops a rigid-flexible coupled numerical model for a wind tunnel test platform known as the 5-degree-of-freedom manoeuvre rig. This model is used for the simulation of a full-span flexible model aircraft constrained by the rig for the investigation of the coupling between rigid body and flexible modes together with geometric nonlinear effects. The modeling of the wing flexibility is based on a reduced order geometrically exact structural method linked with a vortex lattice aerodynamic model. The aircraft fuselage and empennage, and the manoeuvre rig, are modelled as rigid bodies. The findings of the study will aid future experimental wind tunnel explorations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAIAA SCITECH 2023 Forum
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc. (AIAA)
ISBN (Electronic)9781624106996
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jan 2023
EventAIAA SciTech Forum 2023 - National Harbor, United States
Duration: 23 Jan 202327 Jan 2023


ConferenceAIAA SciTech Forum 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNational Harbor

Structured keywords

  • Wind Tunnel


  • Aeroelastic
  • Flexible aircraft
  • Manoeuvre rig
  • Modelling & Simulation


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