Roll Control of a MALE UAV using the Adaptive Torsion Wing

RM Ajaj, MI Friswell, WG Dettmer (Swansea University), AT Isikveren (Bauhaus Luftfahrt e.V., Germany) & G Allegri (University of Bristol)

The Aeronautical Journal, Vol. 117, No. 1189, March 2013, paper number 3809, pp. 299-314


This paper assesses the feasibility of the Adaptive Torsion Wing (ATW) concept to replace conventional ailerons and enhance the manoeuvrability of a MALE UAV. The ATW concept is a thin-walled closed section two-spar wingbox whose torsional stiffness can be adjusted through the chord-wise position of the front and rear spar webs. The reduction in torsional stiffness allows external aerodynamic loads to induce aeroelastic twist that can be used as a function of the flight conditions to obtain a desired roll control authority. Modelling of the concept was performed using a conceptual design tool developed in MATLAB. The variation of structural figures of merit are evaluated and discussed. Finally, an MDO study was performed to have in-depth assessments of the potential benefits of the ATW in replacing ailerons and providing sufficient roll control.

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Link to paper using doi: 10.1017/S0001924000008009

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The Aeronautical Journal