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									                    Virginia Tech AE/ME
                   Morphing Wing Project

                              2002-2003




November 1, 2003       VT AE/ME Morphing Wing Team   1
Morphing is defined as changing the vehicle’s
characteristics in order to achieve better
performance
                              Pigeon   Falcon

 Mission morphing shown
 here

 Inspired by nature

 Planform changes allow for
 multimission capabilities
Control morphing aims to replace conventional
flaps with a smooth shape change

 More efficient flight

 Better control performance

 Can avoid adverse structural
 deformations

 Reduced radar cross-section
The goal of the 2002-2003 senior design team was
to build and fly a morphing RC model

  Decided to build two models to
  compare flight performance

  Modified an off-the-shelf kit to
  save design time

  Chose delta wing to mimic UCAV

  Fully instrumented to provide
  quantitative data
Our first idea was to implement a system for
control morphing


An interlocking and jointed rib
would provide reliable actuation

Several half-size models were
constructed and demonstrated

Finding a suitable skin proved to
be a significant issue
Technical difficulties forced us to go with our
backup design for mission morphing

Installed a telescoping wing

Wings were made of fiberglass
with a foam core

Plastic guide tubes ride on
aluminum rods

Telescoping was actuated by a
servo motor
 Two flight attempts were performed with the
 BetaMax

•Improper balancing resulted in a failed first flight


•BetaMax (version 1.0) vs.
Delta Vortex:
  • 50% heavier
  • 30% less elevon area
  • ~5% more statically
  stable (harder to rotate)
The balance and weight problems were easily
fixed by removing the added weight


Reduced weight by 2 lbs

Moved CG further back,
lessening static margin

Constructed new elevons with
11% more area than those of
the Delta Vortex
                               Unfortunately, other problems arose
With the aid of some duct tape, a successful
flight was finally achieved!
During the flights, we successfully collected
data from each of the instruments
                          Delta Vortex vertical climb
During the flights, we successfully collected
data from each of the instruments
                            BetaMax Roll
We successfully flew both models and acquired
data


 Proved hypotheses:

    Extending wing provides more lift,
  thereby increasing endurance

    Retracting wing allows for
  increased speed and agility
We sought to apply our morphing technology to
Wing In Ground effect (WIG) vehicles

WIGs take advantage of beneficial
ground effect (GE)

In GE, a wing generates more lift
and less drag than at altitude

Flying in GE results in greater fuel
economy
                                        Illustration courtesy of Popular Science



GE allows for larger payloads          GE prevents detrimental
                                       vortices from forming
  A morphing WIG would combine the advantages
  of GE and free flight


 WIG flight is limited to flat terrain,
greatly reducing its usefulness

  Some WIGs can fly out of GE, but
they are very inefficient

                                            Courtesy of http://www.se-technology.com
  Morphing would allow efficient flight
in both configurations                    The X-114 has an L/D of 23 in
                                          GE while it is only 7 out of GE
  We began by building off-the-shelf RC models to
  acquire knowledge about WIG flight
 Built two kits that were specifically
designed as WIGs

 Waterproofing electronics was a
problem

 Balancing proved to be very
important

 Neither kit was a success
    We wanted to maximize performance in both
    configurations

 Traditional WIGs utilize the
Lippisch design

    Low aspect ratio planform

    Negative dihedral

  Lippisch is not a good design
for free flight
  Our final design utilized a telescoping wing that
  incorporated some Lippisch design aspects

 We constructed the wing out of
carbon fiber

 Preliminary flight tests showed
RC GE flight to be extremely
difficult to control manually

 Flight tests of the final design
have yet to be performed

								
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