Aeroelastic Modelling and Design of Aeroelastically Tailored and Morphing Wings

Noud Werter

Research output: ThesisDissertation (TU Delft)

343 Downloads (Pure)


In order to accommodate the growth in air traffic whilst reducing the impact on the environment, operational efficiency is becoming more and more important in the design of the aircraft of the future. A possible approach to increase the operational efficiency of aircraft wings is the use of aeroelastic tailoring, by taking advantage of the directional stiffness properties of composite materials to control the aeroelastic deformations of the wing in a beneficial way or morphing, by actively changing the wing shape in flight to optimise performance across a range of flight conditions.

In order to investigate the benefits of aeroelastic tailoring and morphing, this dissertation presents a dynamic aeroelastic analysis and optimisation framework suitable for the design of aeroelastically tailored and morphing wings. The framework is sufficiently efficient to explore the design space, as well as sufficiently comprehensive to account for all factors relevant in the design of aircraft wings.

In order to illustrate the advantages of the framework, it has been applied to two design studies: the optimisation of a morphing wing designed for a 25 kg UAV and the optimisation of the NASA Common Research Model, a contemporary transonic supercritical wing, resulting in wing designs that take advantage of the aeroelastic response of the wing, ensuring optimal performance at cruise flight conditions, while showing significant improvements at off-cruise conditions.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Delft University of Technology
  • Bisagni, C., Supervisor
  • De Breuker, R., Advisor
Award date26 Sep 2017
Print ISBNs978-94-6299-700-4
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Aeroelasticity
  • Morphing
  • Aeroelastic Tailoring
  • Unsteady aerodynamics


Dive into the research topics of 'Aeroelastic Modelling and Design of Aeroelastically Tailored and Morphing Wings'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this