Optimization design process of a morphing winglet

Marco Lo Cascio, Alberto Milazzo, Antonio Concilio, Ignazio Dimino, Gianluca Amendola, Maurizio Arena

Risultato della ricerca: Otherpeer review

1 Citazioni (Scopus)


Aeronautic and aerospace engineering is recently moving in the direction of developing morphing wing devices, with theaim of making adaptable the aerodynamic shapes to different operational conditions. Those devices may be classifiedaccording to two different conceptual architectures: kinematic or compliant systems. Both of them embed within theirbody all the active components (actuators and sensors), necessary to their operations. In the first case, the geometryvariation is achieved through an augmented classical mechanism, while in the second case the form modification is dueto a special arrangement of the inner structure creating a distributed elastic hinges arrangement. Whatever is the choice,novel design schemes are introduced. Then, it is almost trivial to conclude that standard methods and techniques cannotbe applied easily to these innovative layouts. In other words, because new architectures are produced, the formerconstruction paradigms cannot be maintained as they are but shall be somehow transformed and assimilated by thedesign engineers’ community. In the meantime, the realization process should go on and morphing elements shall berealized, irrespectively of the full maturity of the associated concepts. Therefore, if optimization methods are importantfor the better exploitation of usual constructions, they become absolutely necessary for the technological demonstrationof the capability of such breakthrough systems. In fact, standing their aim of improving the effectiveness of the aircraftflight and reducing then its overall weight, mass impact plays a fundamental role. Promised benefits could completelyvanish if the added should overcome the saved weight!In the study herein presented, the design process of a morphing winglet is reported. The research is collocated within theClean Sky 2 Regional Aircraft IADP, a large European programme targeting the development of novel technologies forthe next generation regional aircraft. The ultimate scope concerns the definition of an adaptive system for alleviating thegust loads and possibly modifying the wing load distribution in the sense of minimizing the attachment momentum (theparameter that governs the wing sizing). The proposed kinematic system is characterized by movable surfaces, each withits own domain authority, sustained by a winglet skeleton and completely integrated with a devoted actuation system.Preliminary aeroelastic investigations did already establish the robustness of the referred structural layout. This papersummarizes the activities relating to the optimization of the envisaged morphing system architecture. Moving from astandard configuration, a process is carried out to identify the lighter adaptive layout that can bear the external andinternal loads without experiencing excessive stress levels for its safe operation. The most severe loads are taken intoaccount for this process, as provided by the industrial partner, showing the reliability of the proposed solution on-boardof a standard commercial aircraft. The optimization process produces interesting, sometime surprising, results thatpromise to reduce the weight impact of the structural skeleton for more than 40% with exclusive reference to the regionsundergoing the optimization process. Such figure reduces to 15% if the complete structure is taken into account, and12% if the skin contribution is included. The innovative outcomes are discussed in detail. Results are verified with adedicated study that proves the consistency of the procedure and the trustworthiness of the computations.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Numero di pagine10
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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  • ???subjectarea.asjc.3100.3104???
  • ???subjectarea.asjc.1700.1706???
  • ???subjectarea.asjc.2600.2604???
  • ???subjectarea.asjc.2200.2208???


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