Flexible Wing

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Malo Torres Trueba, Bruno; Marquez, Carlos; Aragon, Felipe; Aguilar, Alejandro; Vergara, Pedro; Otero, Luis; Bruno Malo Torres Trueba, Senior
artifact description
Flutter is an interesting phenomenon that consists of a certain component in a system vibrating at an uncontrollable frequency. Aircraft, due to the circumstances they usually encounter, tend to present this physical condition. Throughout history, aircraft manufacturers have studied flutter and generated models for their particular designs. However, no general analyses and methodologies have been developed for flutter. To conduct this research, a wing was designed and constructed to study excessive vibrations and aeroelastic behaviors, required for flexible flight controls. First, it was necessary to perform material testing to define the best dimensions of each component of the wing. Destructive tests were performed to determine the stiffness and flexibility of naked foam, naked foam with epoxy, and a sandwich composite component made of carbon fiber and foam. Next, the main wing was constructed and placed into the wind tunnel. During testing, flutter was developed when the fan blades were rotating at a speed of 300 rpm. The wing generated rapid and unnatural upward and downward motions, deflecting at a precise frequency until the whole system failed. Unfortunately, this part of the experiment occurred too quickly, so it was not possible to gather enough data. For that reason, this experiment needs to be performed again in a more controlled environment. Furthermore, additional material testing is currently being done to improve the wing structure before the wing is tested again.