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Exploitation of Adaptive Trailing Edge Architectures to Small Aircraft

[+] Author Affiliations
Gianluca Amendola, Ignazio Dimino, Antonio Concilio

CIRA - Italian Aerospace Research Centre, Capua, Italy

Rosario Pecora, Francesco Amoroso

University of Napoli “Federico II”, Napoli, Italy

Paper No. SMASIS2017-3889, pp. V002T03A028; 11 pages
  • ASME 2017 Conference on Smart Materials, Adaptive Structures and Intelligent Systems
  • Volume 2: Modeling, Simulation and Control of Adaptive Systems; Integrated System Design and Implementation; Structural Health Monitoring
  • Snowbird, Utah, USA, September 18–20, 2017
  • Conference Sponsors: Aerospace Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5826-4
  • Copyright © 2017 by ASME


Airfoil camber adaptation may be the key for the performance improvement of wings for many specific applications, including shorter take-off distance, compensation of weight variation and so on. Following the successful experiences gained in SARISTU, where an adaptive trailing edge device was developed for medium to large size commercial aircraft, the authors propose to exploit the developed architecture to a small aircraft wing. The basic reasons behind that mainly rely on the associated possibility to access easier implementation onto a real aircraft instead of referring to wing segments for wind tunnel or ground tests. In this way, many operative problems are faced, that would be otherwise neglected in usual lab experimentation. First of all, the integration of the proposed device onto a flying machine, that in turn pose the problem of facing the interface with the existing systems. Secondly, the necessity of including the device into the flap while fully preserving its current functionality. Furthermore, the necessity of developing a robust design process that allows having the release of the permit-to-fly. Each of the above steps, non-exhaustive in illustrating the difficulty of the addressed challenge, is structured in many other sub-segments, ranging from a suitable FHA analysis to a full re-design of the existing high lift systems or the adaptation of the architecture of the reference morphing trailing edge itself. This last item poses the classical challenge of the scaling issues, requiring the structural and the actuation subsystems to entirely fit into the new geometry. The objective of the present research is then to verify the feasibility of applying a certain architectural morphing philosophy onto a real aircraft, taking into account all the operational difficulties related to such an operation. This paper reports the activities related to the exploitation of the reference adaptive structural architecture, to the geometry of a flap of a small aircraft. In detail, the system layout is presented, followed by a FE analysis of the structural system under the operational loads and an estimation of the weight penalty associated to this transformation. Interfaces of the flap system with the main aircraft body are considered as constraints to the design development, so that the only flap is affected.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME



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