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ELEMENTS OF AEROELASTICITY

by

G.Velmurugan AP/Aero

Collars triangle

AEROELASTICITY

• Two distinct types of aeroelastic problem

occur. One involves the interaction of

aerodynamic and elastic forces of the type

described above. Such interactions may

exhibit divergent tendencies in a too flexible

structure, leading to failure, or, in an

adequately stiff structure, converge until a

condition of stable equilibrium is reached.

• In this type of problem static or steady state

systems of aerodynamic and elastic forces produce

such aeroelastic phenomena as divergence and

control reversal

Wing torsional divergence (two-

dimensional case)

• The most common divergence problem is

the torsional divergence of a wing.

• It is useful, initially, to consider the case of

a wing of area S without ailerons and in a

two-dimensional flow,

• The torsional stiffness of the wing, which

we shall represent by a spring of stiffness

K, resists the moment of the lift vector, L,

and the wing pitching moment Mo, acting

at the aerodynamic centre of the wing

section.

For moment equilibrium of the wing section

about the aerodynamic centre we have

aerodynamic centre forward of the flexural

centre expressed in terms of the wing

chord, c, and theta is the elastic twist of the

wing.

From aerodynamic theory

• In which (Y is the initial wing incidence or, in

other words, the incidence corresponding to

given flight conditions assuming that the wing

is rigid and CL. O is the wing lift coefficient at

zero incidence, then

Rearranging

• Shows that divergence occurs (Le. 6 becomes

infinite) when

either by stiffening the wing (increasing K) or by

reducing the distance ec between the aerodynamic and

flexural centres. The former approach involves weight

and cost penalties so that designers usually prefer to

design a wing structure with the flexural centre as far

forward as possible. If the aerodynamic centre

coincides with or is aft of the flexural centre then the

wing is stable at all speeds.

Wing torsional divergence (finite

wing)

• We shall consider the simple case of a straight

wing having its flexural axis nearly perpendicular

to the aircraft's plane of symmetry.

• We shall also assume that wing cross-sections

remain undistorted under the loading.

• Applying strip theory in the usual manner, that is

we regard a small element of chord c and

spanwise width 6z as acting independently of the

remainder of the wing and consider its

equilibrium, we have from figure given below

neglecting wing weight.

Where T is the applied torque at any spanwise

section z and AL and AMo are the lift and pitching

moment on the elemental strip acting at its

aerodynamic centre. As dz approaches zero

Where dcl /acu is the local two-dimensional lift curve slope and

• In which cm,0 is the local pitching moment

coefficient about the aerodynamic centre.

• From torsion theory

Aileron effectiveness and reversal

The flexibility of the major aerodynamic

surfaces (wings, vertical and horizontal tails)

adversely affects the effectiveness of the

corresponding control surfaces (ailerons, rudder

and elevators).

For example, the downward deflection of an

aileron causes a nose down twisting of the wing

which consequently reduces the aileron

incidence.

Thus, the wing twist tends to reduce the

increase in lift produced by the aileron

deflection, And thereby the rolling moment to a

value less than that for a rigid wing.

The aerodynamic twisting moment on the wing

due to aileron deflection increases as the square

of the speed but the elastic restoring moment is

constant since it depends on the torsional

stiffness of the wing structure.

Therefore, ailerons become markedly less

effective as the speed increases until, at a

particular speed, the aileron reversal speed,

aileron deflection does not produce any rolling

moment at all.

At higher speeds reversed aileron movements

are necessary in that a positive increment of wing

lift requires an upward aileron deflection and vice

versa.

Similar, less critical, problems arise in the loss of

effectiveness and reversal of the rudder and

elevator controls.

They are complicated by the additional

deformations of the fuselage and tailplane-

fuselage attachment points, which may be as

important as the deformations of the tailplane

itself. We shall illustrate the problem by

investigating, the case of a wingaileron

combination in a two-dimensional flow. In figure

below an aileron deflection Σproduces changes ΔL

and ΔM, in the wing lift, L, and wing pitching

moment M0;

These in turn cause an elastic twist, theta, of the

wing. Thus

dCL/da (is the rate of change of lift coefficient

with aileron angle. Also

pitching moment coefficient with aileron deflection.

The moment produced by these increments in lift

and pitching moment is equilibrated by an

increment of torque AT about the flexural axis.

Hence

Isolating theta from

Substituting

function of aileron deflection and becomes zero,

that is aileron reversal occurs, when

Hence the aileron reversal speed, Vr

below the reversal speed in terms of aileron

effectiveness = ΔL/ΔLR the lift ΔLR produced by

an aileron deflection on a rigid wing. Thus

Substituting

and aileron reversal speed

Wing Flutter

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