Within the framework of the Clean Sky-JTI (Joint Technology Initiative) project, the design and technological demonstration of a novel wing flap architecture were addressed. Research activities were carried out to substantiate the feasibility of morphing concepts enabling flap camber variation in compliance with the demanding safety requirements applicable to the next generation green regional aircraft. The driving motivation for the investigation on such a technology was found in the opportunity to replace a conventional double slotted flap with a single slotted camber-morphing flap assuring similar high lift performances—in terms of maximum attainable lift coefficient and stall angle—while lowering emitted noise and system complexity. The actuation and control logics aimed at preserving prescribed geometries of the device under variable load conditions are numerically and experimentally investigated with reference to an ‘iron-bird’ demonstrator. The actuation concept is based on load-bearing actuators acting on morphing ribs, directly and individually. The adopted un-shafted distributed electromechanical system arrangement uses brushless actuators, each rated for the torque of a single adaptive rib of the morphing structure. An encoder-based distributed sensor system generates the information for appropriate control-loop and, at the same time, monitors possible failures in the actuation mechanism. Further activities were then discussed in order to increase the TRL (Technology Readiness Level) of the validated architecture.
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