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TECHNICAL PAPERS

Effects of Flexibility on the Stability of Flying Aircraft

[+] Author and Article Information
Ilhan Tuzcu

 Department of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487ituzcu@ioe.eng.ua.edu Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics, MC 0219, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061ituzcu@ioe.eng.ua.edu

Leonard Meirovitch1

 Department of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487lmeirovi@vt.edu Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics, MC 0219, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061lmeirovi@vt.edu

Strictly speaking, such equations represent “phase equations,” but due to engineering usage we refer to them as state equations.

1

Corresponding author.

J. Dyn. Sys., Meas., Control 127(1), 41-49 (Jun 21, 2004) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.1870040 History: Received July 02, 2003; Revised June 21, 2004

Traditionally, flying aircraft have been treated within the confines of flight dynamics, which is concerned, for the most part, with rigid aircraft. On the other hand, flexible aircraft fall in the domain of aeroelasticity. In reality all aircraft possess some measure of flexibility and carry out rigid body maneuvers, so that the question arises as to whether rigid body motions and flexibility in combination can affect adversely the stability of flying aircraft. This paper addresses this question by solving the eigenvalue problem for the following three cases: (i) the flight dynamics of a flexible aircraft regarded as rigid and whose perturbations about the flight path are controlled by feedback control, (ii) the aeroelasticity of a corresponding flexible aircraft prevented from undergoing rigid body translations and rotations, and (iii) the control of the actual flexible aircraft using the control gains derived in the first case by regarding the aircraft as rigid. This investigation demonstrates that it is not always safe to treat separately rigid body and flexibility effects in a flying flexible aircraft.

FIGURES IN THIS ARTICLE
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Copyright © 2005 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Topics: Aircraft
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References

Figures

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Figure 1

Flexible aircraft model

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Figure 3

The first two aircraft shape functions

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Figure 4

Rigid body displacements

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Figure 5

Elastic generalized displacements

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Figure 6

Time simulations of the wing and elevator right tip displacements

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Figure 7

Engine thrust and control surfaces angles

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Figure 8

Rigid body displacements

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Figure 9

Elastic generalized displacements

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Figure 10

Time simulations of the wing and elevator right tip displacements

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Figure 11

Engine thrust and control surfaces angles

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