For many micro UAV uses, maximum air vehicle endurance and/or range is a primary requirement. Maximizing endurance and range requires long span, high aspect ratio wings, but for man-portable and tube launched UAV applications there is rarely enough room to stow adequate wing span. In this work, a simple slip fit telescoping shell wing concept, appropriate for extending the wing span of micro UAVs, was analyzed to determine the actuator force-displacement and power consumption relationships, including consideration of the variable wing load distribution that occurs on a telescoping span wing. The required time scale for actuation is also discussed. These results are a necessary part of selecting an appropriate actuator, whether it is an advanced “smart material” actuator or something as simple as a one-way, one-time coil spring. It was found that a wing span increase of about 85% is probably the optimum amount of extension that can be achieved using this telescoping shell wing concept.

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