The goal of developing aircraft that are greener, safer and cheaper can only be maintained through significant innovations in aircraft design. An integrated multidisciplinary design approach can lead to an increase in the performance of future derivative aircraft. Advanced aerodynamics and structural design technologies can be achieved by both passive and active suppression of aeroelastic instabilities. To demonstrate the potential of this approach, the EU-funded project Flutter Free Flight Envelope Expansion for Economical Performance Improvement
is developing an unmanned aerial vehicle with a high-aspect-ratio-wing and clearly defined flutter characteristics. The aircraft is used as an experimental test platform. The scope of this work is the investigation of the aeroelastic behaviour of the aircraft and the determination of its flutter limits. The modeling of unsteady aerodynamics is performed by means of the small disturbance CFD approach that provides higher fidelity compared to conventional linear-potential-theory-based methods. The CFD-based and the linear-potential-theory-based results are compared and discussed. Furthermore, the sensitivity of the flutter behaviour to the geometric level of detail of the CFD model is evaluated.
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