A concept for a novel folding wing is presented, which, using the Brazier effect, can snap from a stable, extended position to a folded configuration. A wing typical of size used in an unmanned aircraft vehicle (UAV) is examined, including manufacturing aspects as well as an analytical and a finite element model (FEM) of the structure. The wing is simply made of a glass fiber reinforced plastic (GFRP) skin stiffened by ribs at regular intervals. At the mid-span location, a cut-out is made in the leading and trailing edge in order to allow the pressure and suction sides of the wing to collapse inward when folding occurs (due to Brazier effect). The analytical model draws upon work from Brazier to predict the maximum bending moment the folding section can withstand before buckling. A FEM, using a quasi-static analysis and requiring a contact definition to allow the wing surfaces to meet, reproduces with accuracy the folding pattern seen on the prototype. A bending test of the demonstrator confirmed the validity of the models in terms of bending stiffness, bending snap through and folding radius of curvature.

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