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Open AccessArticle

Morphing Wing Droop Nose with Large Deformation: Ground Tests and Lessons Learned

Institute of Composite Structures and Adaptive Systems, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Lilienthalplatz 7, 38108 Braunschweig, Germany
Institute of Aircraft Design and Lightweight Structures, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Hermann-Blenk-Straße 35, 38108 Braunschweig, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Aerospace 2019, 6(10), 111;
Received: 31 August 2019 / Revised: 24 September 2019 / Accepted: 26 September 2019 / Published: 2 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aeronautical Systems for Flow Control)
A design for a new high lift system that features a morphing wing leading edge “droop nose” has the potential to generate high lift coefficients whilst mitigating airframe noise emissions. This seamless, continuous, and stepless flexible droop nose potentially offers improvements to stall and compressor requirements for an internally-blown active Coandă trailing edge flap. A full-scale, span-trimmed three-dimensional droop nose was manufactured and ground-tested based on results obtained from new design synthesis tools. A new component of the droop nose is the hybrid fiberglass-elastomeric skin that is tailored in stiffness to meet morphing curvature requirements and spanwise bending resistance. A manufacturing concept of the novel skin was established that led to an adequate manufacturing quality. The skin was driven and supported by two optimized kinematic ribs and conventional actuators and overall shape results show good agreement apart from the region closest to the leading edge. Kinematic trajectory measurements showed that the kinematics met the target trajectories well, with and without the influence of the skin, and it was deemed that the error in curvature is due to a higher than expected skin stiffness in the hybrid layer. Calculated actuator torque levels and strain measurements corroborate this inference. The lessons learned show that means of adjustment post-assembly are needed, and a reduction of torque, energy and a better curvature distribution may be achieved if the skin at the spar junction is allowed to move relative to the main wing. Careful aerodynamic, structural, actuation and manufacturing trade-off studies would be needed to determine the overall performance benefit. View Full-Text
Keywords: morphing wing; droop nose; high lift; hybrid composites; structural optimization morphing wing; droop nose; high lift; hybrid composites; structural optimization
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Vasista, S.; Riemenschneider, J.; Keimer, R.; Monner, H.P.; Nolte, F.; Horst, P. Morphing Wing Droop Nose with Large Deformation: Ground Tests and Lessons Learned. Aerospace 2019, 6, 111.

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