Aeroelastic Tailoring with Composites Applied to Forward Swept Wings
AIR FORCE WRIGHT AERONAUTICAL LABS WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH
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The application of aeroelastic tailoring with advanced composites has made forward swept wings a viable configuration option for high performance aircraft. Forward swept wings have an inherent tendency to encounter a static aeroelastic instability called divergence. The extreme weight penalty required to avoid this instability in conventional metallic construction has been the basis for the reluctance of designers to incorporate forward sweep in aircraft. Studies performed for the Flight Dynamics Laboratory and by others independently show that, through the use of aeroelastic tailoring the design process that makes use of the directional properties of fibrous composite materials in wing skins and orients these materials in optimum directions with advanced composite material, the aeroelastic behavior of a conventional aft swept wing can be controlled and forward swept wings can be constructed with composites that results in an increase in the divergence speed without a prohibitive increase in weight. This report presents the background and evolution of aeroelastic tailoring as applied to forward swept wings together with a summary of work required to establish an aeroelastic data base for forward swept design.
- Laminates and Composite Materials