Kinematic Design and Analysis of a Morphing Wing
Stubbs, Matthew D.
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In order to optimize the flight characteristics of aircraft, wings must be designed for the specific mission an aircraft will see. An airplane rarely has one specific mission, and therefore is usually designed as a compromise to meet many flight objectives with a single wing surface. Large-scale shape change of a wing would enable a wing design to be optimized for multiple missions. Engineers at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Langley Research Center are investigating a new Hyper-Elliptic Cambered Span (HECS) wing configuration that may lead to increased stability and control, and to improved aerodynamic efficiency, during flight. However, during take-off and landing, a conventional wing design (not curved down) may be preferred. Thus a need has been developed for a wing whose contour can be changed during flight. The so-called "morphing" that is required has been limited by a lack of feasible design solutions. One design concept is to use an adaptive structure, with an airfoil skin applied, as the shape-changing driver. Most designs of this kind require multiple actuators to control the changing shape. This thesis introduces a novel design for a morphing wing mechanism using a single degree-of-freedom kinematic chain. In this work, the concept is introduced with sufficient background to aid in understanding. The design tools developed include a synthesis procedure and a sensitivity analysis to determine the effects of manufacturing errors.
- Masters Theses