Energy Based Design and Control for Innovative Air Vehicle Concepts
Final rept. 1 Jan 2002-30 Jun 2003
OHIO STATE UNIV COLUMBUS
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In nature, birds change shape of their wings to achieve proper flight performance. In fact a falcon can glide or loiter at tremendous heights and then dive at three times its gliding speed to strike its prey. Falcons are able change the geometry of their wings by bending them at the shoulder, elbow and wrist. They can also affect the camber of the wing, and even articulate feathers at the wing tip to influence induced drag. Although a falcon can change many aspects of its wing geometry the most significant changes are the change of span, dihedral, surface area and twist. These factors directly affect stability and performance. Similarly an aircrafts wings are deformed significantly due to high aerodynamic pressure during flight maneuvers. A properly deformable aircraft structure is expected to enable the aircraft to have faster and gentler maneuver as well as more efficient and safer performance. Our goal as researchers is to learn from nature and to apply its principles in the next generation of morphing aircraft.