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# MAE 3316

## FLUTTER AND Fall 2012

By
DIVERGENCE John Lasley
&
Michelle Lynde
OUTLINE

Flutter Divergence
 What is flutter?  What is divergence?
 Why is flutter  Aeroelastic Tailoring
important?  Forward Swept Wing
 How is flutter avoided? Design
 Nonlinear flutter  The Windbelt
 Classical flutter
analysis
 Wind tunnel test data
WHAT IS FLUTTER?

##  A dynamic instability associated with the interaction

of aerodynamic, elastic, and inertial forces.
 Self-excited and potentially destructive
 Characterized by negative damping
 Aerodynamic forces on a flexible body couple with
it’s natural modes of vibration to produce oscillatory
motions with increasing amplitude

WHY IS FLUTTER IMPORTANT?

##  “The flutter problem is now generally accepted as a

problem of primary concern in the design of current
aircraft structures.” –R.L. Bisplinghoff and H. Ashley
in Principles of Aeroelasticity (1962)

##  Can greatly alter the design requirements for

performance, structural loads, flight stability and
control, and even propulsion
 Can introduce catastrophic instabilities of the
structure
 Can limit the flight envelope
HOW IS FLUTTER AVOIDED?

##  In complex systems, the elimination of flutter can be

guaranteed only by thorough testing
 Lifting-surface flutter is most often encountered and
most likely to result in a catastrophic structural
failure
 It is required that lifting surfaces of all flight
vehicles be analyzed and tested to ensure that this
dynamic instability will not occur for any condition
within the vehicle’s flight envelope
NONLINEAR FLUTTER

##  If the airflow about the lifting surface becomes

separated during any portion of an unstable
oscillatory cycle of the angle of attack, the governing
equations become nonlinear and the instability is
referred to as “stall flutter”
 Most commonly occurs on turbojet compressor and
 Other phenomena that results in nonlinear behavior
include large deflections, mechanical slop, and
nonlinear control systems
ANALYSIS OF A T YPICAL SECTION

##  Classical flutter analysis allows for the

determination of the flutter boundary
 Driving assumptions:
 Thin airfoil theory
 Linear flutter
 Simple harmonic motion
 Different techniques are available for 3D
compressible flows in both subsonic and supersonic
regimes, with surface-to-surface interaction
GOVERNING EQUATIONS OF MOTION

1 1
P kh h 2 k 2

2 2

Qh L Q M
FLUTTER BOUNDARY

##  The boundary where flutter becomes destructive

 Can be a function of flight condition (i.e. altitude)
versus free-stream Mach, flutter speed, or reduced
frequency
 Engineers must determine the flutter boundary of a
design through both analytical analysis and
experimental methods
 Analytically mapping the flutter boundary is an
iterative process assuming simple harmonic time
dependence
 Experimental methods often include wind tunnel
tests
WIND TUNNEL TEST DATA

 Strain gage
flutter data on a
45° swept
0.0625 x 2 x 5.5
x 19 inch
Aluminum plate

 Performed
3/25/1970
Strain gage reading with 4.2 cps bending; no wind
WIND TUNNEL TEST DATA

## Bending & 20 cps of torsion; no wind

WIND TUNNEL TEST DATA

## Wind tunnel velocity is slowly

increased, showing the interaction
between the aerodynamic forces and
structural response
WIND TUNNEL TEST DATA
WIND TUNNEL TEST DATA

##  Once the wind velocity passes the flutter boundary,

there appears to be no damping at all
DIVERGENCE

##  Occurs when a lifting surface deflects under

 Twisting effect on the structure is increased
 Increased load deflects the structure further, which
brings the structure to the limit loads and to failure
 Demonstration
AEROELASTIC TAILORING

##  Aeroelastic tailoring is a design technique for

aerodynamic surfaces
 Strengths and stiffnesses are matched with the likely
aerodynamic loads that may be imposed on a
surface
 Primarily takes advantage of composite materials to
increase maximum speed before divergence
TAILORING IN FORWARD SWEPT WINGS

 Maneuverability is
improved, especially at
high angles of attack
 Susceptible to divergence
 Tailoring reduces the
angle of attack at the
tips. Ensures that the
stall occurs at the wing
root, making it more
predictable and allowing
the ailerons keep control
THE WINDBELT

##  Relies on an aeroelastic flutter to convert wind

power to electricity
 Inspired by Shawn Frayne, 2004
 Inexpensive to produce
 Mostly available in micro units, but medium to large
operations are planned
 Still in developmental process
HOW WINDBELT FUNCTIONS

##  Wind causes material to

vibrate at a high
frequency
 Magnets oscillate
between metal coils to
cause voltage drop
 Small versions
(microbelts) operate
between 6-20 mph and
are estimated to produce
100-200 Watt hours over
20 year lifespan
WINDBELTS OF THE FUTURE

 Windcell
 Medium sized,
around one meter
 Used to construct
panel arrays
DEMONSTRATION
FLUTTER & DIVERGENCE

Questions?