Aircraft Control via Variable Cant Angle Winglets

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

Journal of Aircraft, Vol. 45, No. 2, March-April 2008, pp. 414-423


This paper investigates a novel method for the control of ‘morphing’ aircraft. The concept consists of a pair of winglets with adjustable cant angle, independently actuated and mounted at the tips of a baseline flying wing. The general philosophy behind the concept was that for specific flight conditions such as a coordinated turn, use of two control devices would be sufficient for adequate control. Computations with a vortex lattice model and subsequent wind tunnel tests demonstrate the viability of the concept, with individual and/or dual winglet deflection producing multi-axis coupled control moments. Comparisons between the experimental and computational results showed reasonable to good agreement, with the major discrepancies thought to be due to wind-tunnel model aeroelastic effects.

Paper Availability

This material has been published in the Journal of Aircraft, Vol. 45, No. 2, March-April 2008, pp. 414-423. Unfortunately the copyright agreement with AIAA does not allow for the PDF file of the paper to be available on this website. However the paper is available from AIAA - see the link below.

Link to paper using doi:10.2514/1.27720

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