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Proceedings Paper

Smart wing wind tunnel test results
Author(s): Lewis B. Scherer; Christopher A. Martin; Kari Appa; Jayanth N. Kudva; Mark N. West
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Paper Abstract

The use of smart materials technologies can provide unique capabilities in improving aircraft aerodynamic performance. Northrop Grumman built and tested a 16% scale semi-span wind tunnel model of the F/A-18 E/F for the on-going DARPA/WL Smart Materials and Structures-Smart Wing Program. Aerodynamic performance gains to be validated included increase in the lift to drag ratio, increased pitching moment (Cm), increased rolling moment (Cl) and improved pressure distribution. These performance gains were obtained using hingeless, contoured trailing edge control surfaces with embedded shape memory alloy (SMA) wires and spanwise wing twist via a SMA torque tube and are compared to a conventional wind tunnel model with hinged control surfaces. This paper presents an overview of the results from the first wind tunnel test performed at the NASA Langley's 16 ft Transonic Dynamic Tunnel. Among the benefits demonstrated are 8 - 12% increase in rolling moment due to wing twist, a 10 - 15% increase in rolling moment due to contoured aileron, and approximately 8% increase in lift due to contoured flap, and improved pressure distribution due to trailing edge control surface contouring.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 May 1997
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 3044, Smart Structures and Materials 1997: Industrial and Commercial Applications of Smart Structures Technologies, (23 May 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.274694
Show Author Affiliations
Lewis B. Scherer, Northrop Grumman Corp. (United States)
Christopher A. Martin, Northrop Grumman Corp. (United States)
Kari Appa, Northrop Grumman Corp. (United States)
Jayanth N. Kudva, Northrop Grumman Corp. (United States)
Mark N. West, Mission Research Corp. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3044:
Smart Structures and Materials 1997: Industrial and Commercial Applications of Smart Structures Technologies
Janet M. Sater, Editor(s)

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