Modeling And Simulation Of The Flight Dynamics Of Morphing Wing Aircraft
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Aircraft with variable wing geometry (morphable wings) are of considerable interest, not only for mission-specific optimization, but for enhanced maneuverability as well. In the nascent field of mini- or micro-Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), large and rapid changes in wing geometry are achievable, resulting in significant changes of the dynamics of the vehicle. In this thesis, we present a simulation methodology suitable for such aircraft, accounting for the changes in both the aerodynamic and inertial properties. Due to the complexity of the possible wing configurations, the aerodynamics are simulated using an unsteady Vortex-Lattice approach, solved concurrently with six(+) degrees of freedom (DOF) nonlinear equations of motion. The time dependence of the inertia tensor and motion of mass within the body frame are explicitly taken into account, resulting in additional body frame forces and moments. The simulation methodology is applied to several morphing wing configurations. The aerodynamic loads of each configuration are obtained and the flight dynamics analyzed through non-linear simulation.