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Proceedings Paper

Adaptive flight control surfaces, wings, rotors, and active aerodynamics
Author(s): Ronald M. Barrett; Fred Brozoski
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Paper Abstract

This study outlines active flight control materials, structural arrangements, and several new active flight control methods for rotorcraft, airplanes and missiles. A system-level comparison shows that flight control actuator systems using materials like piezoceramics have approximately double the mass-specific energy and 4 to 6 times the volume specific energy of conventional actuators. New fabrication techniques centered on the principal of directional attachment allow wings and rotor blades to become twist active. Using these new methods, directionally attached piezoelectric (DAP) actuator elements were built into graphite-epoxy sandwich structures. When compared to conventionally attached piezoelectric (CAP) elements, twist deflections (important for flight control) of DAP plates were an order of magnitude greater. By using such twist-active elements in a torque-plate configuration, an active helicopter rotor was built. This Froude-scaled solid state rotor was whirl-stand tested and showed steady blade pitch deflections in excess of plus or minus 8 degrees with good correlation between theory and experiment rates up to 42 Hz (which corresponded to 2.5/rev) and no degradation in deflection as RPM was increased. DAP elements were also used in high aspect ratio subsonic and supersonic wings, demonstrating static twist deflections of plus or minus 2 degrees and plus or minus 6 degrees respectively, with good correlation between experiment and finite element results. The final section compares all-moving active stabilator structural arrangements and pitch deflections, which range up to plus or minus 12 degrees, generating lift coefficient changes in excess of plus or minus 0.8.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 May 1996
PDF: 21 pages
Proc. SPIE 2717, Smart Structures and Materials 1996: Smart Structures and Integrated Systems, (1 May 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.239021
Show Author Affiliations
Ronald M. Barrett, Auburn Univ. (United States)
Fred Brozoski, Auburn Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2717:
Smart Structures and Materials 1996: Smart Structures and Integrated Systems
Inderjit Chopra, Editor(s)

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