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Design Considerations for a UCAV Wing for Subsonic and Transonic Aeroelastic and Flight Mechanic Wind Tunnel Tests

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In the German Aerospace Center, DLR, an internal project has been launched to investigate different UCAV configurations. One aspect, covered by the Institute of Aeroelasticity and the Institute of Aerodynamics and Flow Technology, is the wind tunnel test of a UCAV wing in subsonic and transonic flow. The model shall show measurable static aeroelastic deformations. Main goals of the tests will be the study of vortex-dominated flow on aeroelastic deformable wings, and the generation of data for the validation of numerical fluid-structure coupling for delta wings at various points of the operational envelope. At the same time, a new active wind tunnel support will be build to include a means of investigation into the flight mechanics of such a configuration. Contrary to many aeroelastic experiments, flutter tests are not part of the test program. The report will give an overview of the design considerations for an aeroelastic UCAV wing model, discussing requirements coming from the validation of numerical simulations, leading to an investigation of various planforms for suitability with respect to the requirements of the project and the selection of sensors for the model. Aspects of safety criteria for operation of aeroelastic models in the wind tunnel will be considered, regarding requirements for flutter models vs. those for static aeroelastic models. The outline of the structural design of an aeroelastic UCAV wing for the analysis of deflections and transient motion is given, along with some words on the role of an active wind tunnel support. As the project has just been launched, the wing model is currently in the concept stage. Final model design is expected to be finished at the end of 2007, the experiments are due to be performed in early 2009.

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  • Pilotless Aircraft
  • Fluid Mechanics

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