This work introduces a new span morphing concept under development at Swansea University. Known as the Adaptive Aspect Ratio wing, this concept couples a compliant skin material to a mechanism based internal structure to create a morphing wing capable of significant changes in span and aspect ratio. The four key technologies of the concept, namely the elastomeric matric composite skin, the telescoping spar, the sliding ribs and the strap drive, are first introduced and discussed. The compliant skin is established to be the dominant component in the overall design of this concept, requiring careful balancing between in-plane actuation force requirements and out-of-plane stiffness under aerodynamic loading. An initial skin design optimization exercise is then carried out using analytical models of the skin’s behaviour, providing significant insight into the interplay between the various parameters of the skin design.

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