Design and Flight Testing of Inflatable Wings with Wing Warping 2005-01-3392
The paper presents work on testing of inflatable wings for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Inflatable wing history and recent research is discussed. Design and construction of inflatable wings is then covered, along with ground and flight testing. Discussions include predictions and correlations of the forces required to warp (twist) the wings to a particular shape and the aerodynamic forces generated by that shape change. The focus is on characterizing the deformation of the wings and development of a model to accurately predict deformation. Relations between wing stiffness and internal pressure and the impact of external loads are presented. Mechanical manipulation of the wing shape on a test vehicle is shown to be an effective means of roll control. Possible benefits to aerodynamic efficiency are also discussed.