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Active Air-elasticity


Theoretical and Numerical Investigations of Active/passive Concepts to Demonstrate the Impacts from Aeroelasticity on the Improvement of Aircraft Performance

Tech Area / Field

  • SAT-AER/Aeronautics/Space, Aircraft and Surface Transportation

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Ryzhova T B

Leading Institute
Central Aerodynamic Institute, Russia, Moscow reg., Zhukovsky


  • Airbus Deutschland GmbH, Germany, Munich\nDeutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V., Institut für Aeroelastik , Germany, Göttingen

Project summary

Aeroelasticity deals with the behavior of an elastic body or a vehicle in an airflow wherein there is significant reciprocal interaction or feedback between deformation and flow. The field of aeroelasticity plays a critical role both in the design of modern aerospace vehicles and in civil design such as bridges or high buildings.

Airplanes suffer from:

– aeroelastic degradation of aerodynamic performance;

– aeroelastic degradation of longitudinal and lateral stability and maneuverability;
– adverse coupling effects between the flexible structure and the flight control system;
– increased static and dynamic loads;
– aeroelastic instabilities.

“Aeroelastic weight penalty” is therefore a frequently used expression in aeronautical engineering.

From the other hand, structural elasticity sometimes do can make positive impact on flight performance, e.g. reduce of root bending moment at a swept wing. Such favorable effects can be achieved with undertaking special measures in design to control elastic deformations. The proposed project is aiming at exploiting such effects to solve aeromechanical problems on the base of “passive and active aeroelasticity”. The nature of the “active and passive” concept is to reduce structure weight with keeping aircraft safety as regard to flutter, controls reversal, pergence, strength, as well to improve design performance with the aid of favorable deformations.

The improvement of design performance means here:

– enhancement of aerodynamic, aeroelastic and strength performance;

– loads alleviation;
– reduce power requirements for control surface actuation systems.

The proposed project comprises the work that includes the concepts of “passive and active aeroelasticity”, development of methods, algorithms, software and analytical/experimental investigation. All together this should allow the most prospect approaches to be selected alongside with recommendations to be set on how to apply the results obtained to increase flight performance, economy and efficiency of aircraft. The main expected benefits are reduction of lifting surface weight by 5-15% and reduction of tail area by 10-20%.

Within the project, the foreign collaborators (experts from European leading aeronautical companies and scientific institutes) are expected to participate at the stages of design of a test model for wind tunnels(WT), scientific review of modeled phenomena and WT demonstrating of how the concepts can be realized.

These objectives can be achieved by the development and application of analytical, numerical and multidisciplinary optimization methods for the aircraft design process, involving all basic aeronautical disciplines. Additional improvement of aeroelastic performance seems to be possible by means of new materials according to the concept of “passive aeroelasticity”. Adaptive selectively-deformable structures are proposed and being investigated alongside with new materials.


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