A Reduced Order Model for the Aeroelastic Analysis of Flexible Wings 2013-01-2158
The aeroelastic design of highly flexible wings, made of extremely light structures yet still capable of carrying a considerable amount of non-structural weights, requires significant effort. The complexity involved in such design demands for simplified mathematical tools based on appropriate reduced order models capable of predicting the accurate aeroelastic behaviour. The model presented in this paper is based on a consistent nonlinear beam model, capable of simulating the unconventional aeroelastic behaviour of flexible composite wings. The partial differential equations describing the wing dynamics are reduced to a dimensionless form in terms of three ordinary differential equations using a discretization technique, along with Galerkin's method. Within this approach the nonlinear structural model an unsteady indicial based aerodynamic model with dynamic stall are coupled. Only three degrees of freedom in edgewise, flapwise, and torsion, are needed to describe efficiently the dynamics of the wing and to evaluate the sensitivity to system parameters, such as stiffness ratio, aspect ratio, and root angle of attack. Interesting design indicators will be highlighted. In addition to analytical results, a wind tunnel test article will be introduced to assess the validity of the proposed model.