Effect of Wing Stiffness and Folding Wingtip Release Threshold on Gust Loads

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This study presents an aeroelastic wind-tunnel experiment to identify the influence of the wing stiffness and hinge release threshold on the gust load alleviation performance of a folding wingtip design. Five models with different stiffness and tailoring properties are tested, and the wing root bending moment at different conditions is compared to the response with the locked-hinge condition to assess the impact on the gust load alleviation capabilities of the folding wingtip. The results show that the structural properties do not have an important impact on the peak load alleviation but the hinge release threshold and timing do. Releasing with the correct timing can reduce significantly the peak loads. However, the dynamics of the system are affected by this release; the flutter speed is decreased, and, although the performance can improve, load oscillations increase, which can be considered detrimental for reasons such as fatigue or passenger comfort.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Aircraft
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2023


  • Flared Folding Wingtips
  • Experimental Aeroelasticity
  • Gust Load Alleviation

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