Flight control of a UAV with inflatable wings with wing warping

Andrew Simpson, Jamey Jacob, Suzanne Smith

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The paper presents work on testing of inflatable wrings for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Design and construction of inflatable wings is discussed, along with bench, tunnel and flight testing. The focus is on characterizing the deformation of the wings and development of a system to deform the wings in flight. A lifting line code was used to predict the potential benefits of wing twisting for roll control of the vehicle. Predictions and correlations of the forces required to warp the wings to a particular shape were conducted in the laboratory. These deformations were characterized through the use of photogrammetry. The photogrammetry results were then used to generate models of the wings in their deformed shape. The models were then placed in the wind tunnel for analysis of the aeroelastic effects. These results are presented and discussed. These results were then compared with the predicted benefits from the lifting line code. Mechanical manipulation of the wing shape on a test vehicle is shown to be an effective means of roll control through full scale flight testing. Finally, damage resistance of the inflatable wings is shown from results of flight tests.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCollection of Technical Papers - 24th AIAA Applied Aerodynamics Conference
Number of pages19
StatePublished - 2006
Event24th AIAA Applied Aerodynamics Conference - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Jun 5 2006Jun 8 2006

Publication series

NameCollection of Technical Papers - AIAA Applied Aerodynamics Conference
ISSN (Print)1048-5953


Conference24th AIAA Applied Aerodynamics Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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