Structurally Consistent Class/Shape Transformation Equations for Morphing Airfoils Academic Article uri icon


  • Copyright © 2018 by Thomas A. Reist, David W. Zingg, Mark Rakowitz, Graham Potter, and Sid Banerjee. Published by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc., with permission. Camber morphing of the wing outer mold line may improve aerodynamic performance and reduce noise emissions for some aircraft. However, not all outer mold lines are obtainable from a given reference configuration as the extent to which the outer mold line can deform is restricted by both the reference airfoil shape and wing internal structure. In this Paper, the class/shape transformation parameterization method is modified for the first time to consider the kinematics of a morphing airfoil with rigid internal structure, providing structurally consistent class/shape transformation equations. Considering as an example the use of skin-based actuators and certain assumptions regarding the internal structure, accurate kinematically feasible deformed configurations are rapidly calculated without the need for structural analysis or consideration of actuation technology, enabling rapid iterative preliminary design optimization. The kinematic relations are accurate for moderate deformations (strains less than or equal to 4%) while still providing good estimates for larger deformations when comparing to finite-element analysis results.

author list (cited authors)

  • Leal, P., & Hartl, D. J.

publication date

  • January 1, 2019 11:11 AM