Both the dynamic characteristics and structural nonlinearities of an actuator will affect the flutter boundary of a fin–actuator system. The actuator models used in past research are not universal, the accuracy is difficult to guarantee, and the consideration of nonlinearity is not adequate. Based on modularization, a high-fidelity modeling method for an actuator is proposed in this paper. This model considers both freeplay and friction, which is easy to expand. It can be directly used to analyze actuator characteristics and perform aeroelastic analysis of fin–actuator systems. Friction can improve the aeroelastic stability, but the mechanism of its influence on the aeroelastic characteristics of the system has not been reported. In this paper, the LuGre model, which can better reflect the friction characteristics, was integrated into the actuator. The influence of the initial condition, freeplay, and friction on the aeroelastic characteristics of the system was analyzed. The comparison of the results with the previous research shows that oversimplified friction models are not accurate enough to reflect the mechanism of friction’s influence. By changing the loads, material, and geometry of contact surfaces, flutter can be effectively suppressed, and the power loss caused by friction can be minimized.
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