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Span morphing using the GNATSpar wing

Span morphing using the GNATSpar wing
Span morphing using the GNATSpar wing
Rigid wings usually fly at sub-optimal conditions generating unnecessary aerodynamic loses represented in flight time, fuel consumption, and unfavourable operational characteristics. High aspect ratio wings have good range and fuel efficiency, but lack manoeuvrability. On the other hand, low aspect ratio wings fly faster and are more manoeuvrable, but have poor aerodynamic performance. Span morphing technology allows integrating both features in a single wing design and allows continuously adjusting the wingspan to match the instantaneous flight conditions and mission objectives. This paper develops, a novel span morphing concept, the Gear driveN Autonomous Twin Spar (GNATSpar) for a mini-UAV. The GNATSpar can be used to achieve span extensions up to 100% but for demonstration purposes it is used here to achieve span extensions up to 20% to reduce induced drag and increase flight endurance. The GNATSpar is superior to conventional telescopic and articulated structures as it uses the space available in the opposite sides of the wing instead of relying on overlapping structures and bearings. In addition, it has a self-locking actuation mechanism due to the low lead angle of the driving worm gear. Following the preliminary aero-structural sizing of the concept, a physical prototype is developed and tested in the 7?×5? wind-tunnel at the University of Southampton. Finally, benefits and drawbacks of the design are highlighted and analysed.
1270-9638
38-46
Ajaj, R.M.
ff8ce68d-2ba5-449e-83da-f2be54e6d409
Friswell, M.I.
e1f48951-f82e-4301-9a71-e32ce1188b00
Bourchak, M.
a78efa81-d3c5-47e1-bcd3-0200333da605
Harasani, W.
dbd263c9-46cc-495c-97bb-fbf41b552631
Ajaj, R.M.
ff8ce68d-2ba5-449e-83da-f2be54e6d409
Friswell, M.I.
e1f48951-f82e-4301-9a71-e32ce1188b00
Bourchak, M.
a78efa81-d3c5-47e1-bcd3-0200333da605
Harasani, W.
dbd263c9-46cc-495c-97bb-fbf41b552631

Ajaj, R.M., Friswell, M.I., Bourchak, M. and Harasani, W. (2016) Span morphing using the GNATSpar wing. Aerospace Science and Technology, 53, 38-46. (doi:10.1016/j.ast.2016.03.009).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Rigid wings usually fly at sub-optimal conditions generating unnecessary aerodynamic loses represented in flight time, fuel consumption, and unfavourable operational characteristics. High aspect ratio wings have good range and fuel efficiency, but lack manoeuvrability. On the other hand, low aspect ratio wings fly faster and are more manoeuvrable, but have poor aerodynamic performance. Span morphing technology allows integrating both features in a single wing design and allows continuously adjusting the wingspan to match the instantaneous flight conditions and mission objectives. This paper develops, a novel span morphing concept, the Gear driveN Autonomous Twin Spar (GNATSpar) for a mini-UAV. The GNATSpar can be used to achieve span extensions up to 100% but for demonstration purposes it is used here to achieve span extensions up to 20% to reduce induced drag and increase flight endurance. The GNATSpar is superior to conventional telescopic and articulated structures as it uses the space available in the opposite sides of the wing instead of relying on overlapping structures and bearings. In addition, it has a self-locking actuation mechanism due to the low lead angle of the driving worm gear. Following the preliminary aero-structural sizing of the concept, a physical prototype is developed and tested in the 7?×5? wind-tunnel at the University of Southampton. Finally, benefits and drawbacks of the design are highlighted and analysed.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 11 February 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 18 March 2016
Published date: June 2016
Organisations: Aerodynamics & Flight Mechanics Group

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 391235
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/391235
ISSN: 1270-9638
PURE UUID: b1baa58b-3c11-4eeb-b545-364ba2f14f90

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 11 Apr 2016 08:28
Last modified: 10 Jan 2018 05:28

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