A fuel saving way in aerospace engineering based on morphing wing technology: a new multidisciplinary experimental model

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.14621/ce.20160202
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Journal titleInternational Journal of Contemporary ENERGY
Subjectenergy save; drag reduction; morphing wing; experimental testing; wind tunnel; IR analysis
AbstractThe research presented in this present paper was done within the framework of the international CRIAQ MDO505 Morphing Wing project, developed as a collaborative research project between academia, research centres and industry partners. The work exposed in the paper is related to the development of an experimental morphing wing model and its performance evaluation by using some wind tunnel tests. This collaborative research aimed at the drag reduction over a wing by morphing it, conducting in this way at fuel savings and low emissions. The association between the drag reduction and wing morphing comes from the fact that if the wing airfoil shape is changed in a specific way then the laminar to turbulent flow transition point position can be moved toward its trailing edge. The model designed, fabricated and tested during our project is based on the dimensions of a full scale wing tip structure, equipped with a morphable flexible upper surface made from composite materials and deformed by using four miniature electrical actuators, with an array of 32 Kulite pressure sensors to monitor the air flow behaviour over the upper surface, and with an aileron also electrical actuated. The first specific objective for our research team in this project was to develop a new morphing mechanism for the wing by using miniature electrical actuators; these actuators should deform the upper wing surface, so that the laminar-to-turbulent transition point moves closer to the wing trailing edge reducing in this way the drag force as a function of flow condition by changing the wing shape. The flow conditions were univocally defined by mean of Mach numbers, airspeeds, angles of attack and aileron deflection angles. The second specific objective was to develop a control system for the morphing actuators to obtain the desired morphed shape of the wing for each studied flow case, while the third specific objective was to develop a monitoring system able to detect and visualize the airflow characteristics using pressure sensors installed on the upper surface of the morphing wing, evaluating in this way the gains brought by the proposed architecture. During the paper sections are successively exposed the project description, the morphing wing model instrumentation and the mechanisms used to control it. Finally, a wind tunnel aerodynamic results analysis is performed, discussing the extension of the laminar region of the flow over the wing by using the morphing wing technology.
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AffiliationNational Research Council Canada; Aerospace
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number23000917
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Record identifierac894349-03de-419c-882a-89bc9b664601
Record created2016-11-15
Record modified2016-11-15
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