Passive Aeroelastic Tailoring of Transport Aircraft

Student : Christopher Lupp

Sponsor : NASA, Aurora Flight Sciences


The wing aspect ratios of transport aircraft continues to increase steadily as the aviation industry attempts to find further improvements in fuel burn. Additionally, new materials and manufacturing techniques such as carbon fiber composites are being used or proposed to further reduce structural weight. In the course of this project, two different manufacturing techniques are used to optimize a 13.5 aspect ratio transport wing with respect to fuel burn. At the A2SRL, a tow-steered carbon fiber composite wing and a topology optimized wing produced using additive manufacturing are being analyzed with respect to their flutter and aeroelastic response. Information on the wings’ dynamic aeroelastic behavior are passed back to the Multidisciplinary Design Labs at the University of Michigan and at Georgia Tech to help achieve an optimized design for both static and dynamic aeroelastic constraints.

The optimized wing configurations will be manufactured at subscale by Aurora Flight Sciences. Static load and ground vibration testing will be used to compare the computational values to experimental data.

Transport Aircraft Model – 13.5 Wing Aspect Ratio