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High-lift devices with variable camber for an adaptive wing


Research objectives and content Aim of the research project is development and realization of a wing element with variable camber (flap or control surface). Wing structures are actually realized as a system of rigid bodies (main wing, ailerons, flaps, etc.) and the aerodynamic field are influenced by changing relative positions of these parts. If it was possible to variate wing geometry by more than these degrees of freedom, e.g. allowing shapes changes in some wing elements, large advantages will be achieved in controlling aerodynamic field and hence flight dynamics. In the past some investigations in this field were performed, however, none of the proposed solutions was realized in practice. In fact realization of a controlled variable geometry with conventional techniques requires heavy and complex mechanisms. 'Smart structures' strategy open a new perspective for the adaptive wing concept, in fact these new materials make geometric variability feasible without the above mentioned disadvantages. In the proposed research this possibility will be investigated in particular for high-lift device with variable camber. Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact) The objective is the realization of a wing element with variable camber. A qualifying experience in the smart structure field will be the main benefit of the proposed training. Moreover experiencing into following topics is expected: solid state actuators: design, structural integration, experimental properties evaluation; aircraft structures; composite materials. Links with industry / industrial relevance (22) The idea to provide a wing with variable camber is clearly interesting for the aeronautical transports. In fact such a realization could be introduce large advantages concerning manoeuvrability, safety and fuel consumption and, as a consequence, a great improvement in European aeronautical industry.

Funding Scheme

RGI - Research grants (individual fellowships)


Lilienthalplatz 7
38108 Braunschweig