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Proceedings Paper

Design, fabrication, and testing of a new twist-active wing design
Author(s): Ronald M. Barrett; David Law
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Paper Abstract

This paper outlines the design, fabrication and testing techniques used for a new class of active wings. In support of recent efforts to shrink high authority, high speed aircraft flight controls for Micro Aerial Vehicles (MAVs), a new wing design was conceived. Quasi-vortex lattice methods were used to determine roll control power of unswept wings with (1) conventional ailerons, (2) active twist, and (3) a new method which employs root twist only. It was shown that linear wing twist provides 3.9 times more roll control than conventional ailerons. Root twist manipulations are shown to provide 1.6 times more control than twist. A comparison of control authority per unit actuator weight also shows that root actuators are more than 20% lighter than the other two systems. To drive the new root pitch actuator, a directionally attached piezoelectric (DAP) torque-late actuator was built. A laminated plate theory analysis of the 4' span, 3' chord DAP torque-plate showed good correlation between theory and experiment. The DAP torque plate was integrated into a 30' span, 4' chord graphite-epoxy wing. Structural testing showed wing pitch deflections up to +/- 1.5 degree(s) at rates in excess of 70 Hz. Wind tunnel tests were conducted between 1 and 20 ft/s (typical MAV flight speeds) and showed rolling moment coefficients up to +/- 0.026 (equivalent to +/- 8.4 degree(s) of aileron deflection), indicating that the new wing is well suited to flight control of micro-sized aircraft.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 July 1998
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 3329, Smart Structures and Materials 1998: Smart Structures and Integrated Systems, (27 July 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.316919
Show Author Affiliations
Ronald M. Barrett, Auburn Univ. (United States)
David Law, Auburn Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3329:
Smart Structures and Materials 1998: Smart Structures and Integrated Systems
Mark E. Regelbrugge, Editor(s)

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