Flutter Predictions for Very Flexible Wing Wind Tunnel Test

Norberto Goizueta, Andrew Wynn, Rafael Palacios, Ariel Drachinsky, Daniella E. Raveh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The stability boundaries of a very flexible wing are sought to inform a wind-tunnel flutter test campaign. The objective is twofold: To identify via simulation the relevant physical processes to be explored while ensuring safe and nondestructive experiments, and to provide a benchmark case for which computational models and test data are freely available. Analyses have been independently carried out using two geometrically nonlinear structural models coupled with potential flow aerodynamics. The models are based on a prototype of the wing for which static load and aeroelastic tests are available, and the experimental results have been successfully reproduced numerically. The wing displays strong geometrically nonlinear effects with static deformations as high as 50% of its span. This results in substantial changes to its structural dynamics, which display several mode crossings that cause the flutter mechanisms to change as a function of deformation. Stability characteristics depend on both the freestream velocity and the angle of attack. A fast drop of the flutter speed is observed as the wing deforms as the angle of attack is increased, whereas a large stable region is observed for wing displacements over 25%. The corresponding wind tunnel dynamic tests have validated these predictions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1082-1097
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Aircraft
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering


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