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Open AccessArticle

Investigation of a Morphing Wing Capable of Airfoil and Span Adjustment Using a Retractable Folding Mechanism

Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa 32000, Israel
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Aerospace 2019, 6(8), 85; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace6080085
Received: 18 January 2019 / Revised: 23 July 2019 / Accepted: 24 July 2019 / Published: 31 July 2019
The presented aircraft is capable of alternating between two singular working points by folding the exterior surfaces of the wing underneath the interior surfaces. This allows for a significant change in wingspan, lift surfaces, aspect ratio and airfoil (camber and thickness). The motivation for this type of morphing is twofold: The increase in wingspan due to unfolding, results in an increased endurance of the aircraft, while the opposite process, which eliminates the camber of the airfoil and reduces the moment of inertia, is translated into improved manoeuvre capabilities. An analysis was performed to assess the additional endurance gained by the morphing capabilities, factoring in a spectrum of aircraft geometries and flight missions. It was concluded that this morphing concept can, in theory, improve the endurance up to 50% compared to the standard counterparts. The penalty due to the additional weight of the morphing mechanism was factored in, which had an adverse effect on the endurance improvement. The concept also calls for unique airfoil selection process. Selecting a proper airfoil for either working point, results in irregular airfoil geometry upon morphing. The two possibilities were subjected to analysis and wind tunnel testing. View Full-Text
Keywords: morphing; adaptive; folding; performance; wind tunnel test morphing; adaptive; folding; performance; wind tunnel test
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Geva, A.; Abramovich, H.; Arieli, R. Investigation of a Morphing Wing Capable of Airfoil and Span Adjustment Using a Retractable Folding Mechanism. Aerospace 2019, 6, 85.

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