Performing Co-ordinated Turns with Articulated Wing-tips as Multi-axis Control Effectors

P Bourdin (Bristol University), A Gatto (Brunel University) & MI Friswell (Swansea University)

The Aeronautical Journal, Vol. 114, No. 1151, January 2010, pp. 35-47

Abstract

This paper investigates a novel method for the control of aircraft. The concept consists of articulated split wing-tips, independently actuated and mounted on a baseline flying wing. The general philosophy behind the concept was that adequate control of a flying wing about its three axes could be obtained through local modifications of the dihedral angle at the wing-tips, thus providing an alternative to conventional control effectors such as elevons and drag rudders. Preliminary computations with a vortex lattice model and subsequent wind tunnel tests and Navier-Stokes computations demonstrate the viability of the concept for co-ordinated turns, with individual and/or combined wing-tip deflections producing multiaxis, coupled control moments. The multi-axis nature of the generated moments contribute to over-actuate the flight control system, leading to some redundancy, which could be exploited to optimise secondary objective functions such as drag or bending moment.

Paper Availability

This material has been published in the The Aeronautical Journal, Vol. 114, No. 1151, January 2010, pp. 35-47, the only definitive repository of the content that has been certified and accepted after peer review.


Link to paper using doi: 10.1017/S0001924000003511

The Aeronautical Journal