A numerical model of unsteady, subsonic aeroelastic behavior

TR Number
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

A method for predicting unsteady, subsonic aeroelastic responses has been developed. The technique accounts for aerodynamic nonlinearities associated with angles of attack, vortex-dominated flow, static deformations, and unsteady behavior. The angle of attack is limited only by the occurrence of stall or vortex bursting near the wing. The fluid and the wing together are treated as a single dynamical system, and the equations of motion for the structure and flowfield are integrated simultaneously and interactively in the time domain. The method employs an iterative scheme based on a predictor-corrector technique. The aerodynamic loads are computed by the general unsteady vortex-lattice method and are determined simultaneously with the motion of the wing. Because the unsteady vortex-lattice method predicts the wake as part of the solution, the history of the motion is taken into account; hysteresis is predicted. Two models are used to demonstrate the technique: a rigid wing on an elastic support experiencing plunge and pitch about the elastic axis, and an elastic wing rigidly supported at the root chord experiencing spanwise bending and twisting. The method can be readily extended to account for structural nonlinearities and/or substitute aerodynamic load models. The time domain solution coupled with the unsteady vortex-lattice method provides the capability of graphically depicting wing and wake motion.