The nonlinear aeroelasticity of an orthotropic composite laminated plate subjected to axial subsonic airflow and transverse harmonic excitation is investigated. Considering the von Karman’s large deformation, the partial differential equation of motion of the structural system is established using the Hamilton’s principle and reduced into a system of ordinary differential equations through Galerkin’s method. The aerodynamic pressure induced by the transverse motion of the plate is derived from the linear potential flow theory. For the structural system, the Melnikov’s method and numerical simulations are adopted to investigate the influence of the flow velocity on the chaotic motion of the plate for a given external harmonic excitation. The results show that when the flow velocity increases, the plate will be unstable, and the chaotic motion of the laminated plate will happen.

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