This paper presents the design, optimization, realization and testing of a novel wing morphing concept based on compliant structures actuated by Macro Fiber Composites. The geometry of the compliant morphing ribs is determined through multidisciplinary optimizations. The static and dynamic behavior of the wing, and the effect of activating the actuators, is assessed using 3-D aeroelastic simulations. The performance and manufacturability of a wing designed according to this approach are investigated. The achieved active deformations produce sufficient roll control authority to replace conventional ailerons.
The numerical simulation for the conformal shape adaptation of the wing is compared to experimental results, showing good agreement. The aerodynamic and structural behavior of the introduced concept is investigated through a validated finite element model, revealing the potential of the presented morphing wing.
A closed-loop controller driving high-voltage electronics counteracts the nonlinearity and hysteresis of the piezoelectric actuators, allowing for controlling the wings’ morphing level.