Experimental evaluation of a morphing leading edge concept

Jurij Sodja*, Marcias J. Martinez, John C. Simpson, Roeland De Breuker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
117 Downloads (Pure)


This article presents an experimental evaluation of a morphing leading edge demonstrator by investigating its morphed shape, the level of induced strains in the airfoil skin, the actuation force, and the morphing mechanism’s capability to lock and transfer the applied loads. In addition, a finite element model of the demonstrator is assembled comprising an elastic morphing skin and a kinematic morphing mechanism. The obtained results are used to assess whether the demonstrator performs according to the design objectives, such as the target shape, the character of the morphing deformation and the morphing mechanism locking, applied during the design process. The comparison between experimental and numerical results yielded a good agreement in terms of observed morphed shape and pertaining strains. The average difference in morphed shape was less than 0.08% chord at the maximum actuator extension. The observed difference in the respective strains was less than 400 micro-strains. A significant difference, up to 70%, was observed in the actuation force, which was attributed to the modelling assumptions and to the force measurement technique employed in the experiment. Nevertheless, both results show good qualitative agreement showing similar trends.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2953-2969
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures
Issue number18-19
Publication statusPublished - 2 Aug 2019


  • droop nose
  • experiment
  • leading edge
  • Morphing


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