Effect of Compressive Force on Aeroelastic Stability of a Strut-Braced Wing


erwin.pdf (2.67 MB)
Downloads: 1014

TR Number



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Virginia Tech


Recent investigations of a strut-braced wing (SBW) aircraft show that, at high positive load factors, a large tensile force in the strut leads to a considerable compressive axial force in the inner wing, resulting in a reduced bending stiffness and even buckling of the wing. Studying the influence of this compressive force on the structural response of SBW is thus of paramount importance in the early stage of SBW design.

The purpose of the this research is to investigate the effect of compressive force on aeroelastic stability of the SBW using efficient structural finite element and aerodynamic lifting surface methods. A procedure is developed to generate wing stiffness distribution for detailed and simplified wing models and to include the compressive force effect in the SBW aeroelastic analysis. A sensitivity study is performed to generate response surface equations for the wing flutter speed as functions of several design variables. These aeroelastic procedures and response surface equations provide a valuable tool and trend data to study the unconventional nature of SBW.

In order to estimate the effect of the compressive force, the inner part of the wing structure is modeled as a beam-column. A structural finite element method is developed based on an analytical stiffness matrix formulation of a non-uniform beam element with arbitrary polynomial variations in the cross section. By using this formulation, the number of elements to model the wing structure can be reduced without degrading the accuracy.

The unsteady aerodynamic prediction is based on a discrete element lifting surface method. The present formulation improves the accuracy of existing lifting surface methods by implementing a more rigorous treatment on the aerodynamic kernel integration. The singularity of the kernel function is isolated by implementing an exact expansion series to solve an incomplete cylindrical function problem. A hybrid doublet lattice/doublet point scheme is devised to reduce the computational time.

SBW aircraft selected for the present study is the fuselage-mounted engine configuration. The results indicate that the detrimental effect of the compressive force to the wing buckling and flutter speed is significant if the wing-strut junction is placed near the wing tip.



Buckling, Non-uniform Beam Finite Element, Unsteady Aerodynamics, Aeroelasticity, Strut-Braced Wing