This paper examines the feasibility of piezocomposite morphing airfoils and trailing edge control surfaces subjected to large dynamic pressures. Piezocomposite airfoils have been shown to be feasible on small unmanned aerial vehicles, subject to relatively low dynamic pressures, operating in the Reynold’s number range of 50k to 250k. The operating range of interest in this paper has a cruising Reynold’s number range between 250k and 1M subject to relatively large wing loading. This range of Reynold’s numbers has not been explored in detail due to the large aerodynamic loads produced. Based on the authors’ previous research on small unmanned aircraft, the proposed concept is a variable-camber airfoil that employs a continuous inextensible surface and surface-bonded piezocomposite actuators. To achieve camber-morphing, multiple piezocomposite actuating elements are applied to the upper and lower surfaces. A case study is performed to determine the design parameters of the airfoil. The parameters to be varied include the substrate thickness of the baseline airfoil, leading edge, and piezocomposite bonded areas. In addition, the positions of the piezocomposites are varied. The analysis is performed using a coupled fluid-structure interaction model assuming static aeroelastic behavior. A voltage sweep is conducted on each airfoil design while being subjected to 70 m/s free stream velocity. The sweep examines the lift coefficient and lift-to-drag ratio of the airfoil over the full operational range. This research lays the groundwork for determining the feasibility of piezocomposite morphing airfoil and trailing edge concepts for use in applications subject to large dynamic pressures.

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