Free wake panel method simulations of a highly flexible wing in flutter and gusts

André F.P. Ribeiro*, Damiano Casalino, Carlos Ferreira

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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This paper presents low speed fluid structure interaction simulations of a highly flexible wing at various flow conditions, including flutter and excitation from sinusoidal gusts. Such wings are becoming more relevant in recent years, due to their potential for improving aerodynamics and reducing weight, while their flutter characteristics are particularly challenging to address, as the modal properties of the wings change as deflections increase. Calculations are based on time domain coupling of a geometrically exact beam structural model and a 3D free wake panel method, modeling the outer surface of the wing, which allow for nonlinear effects in terms of geometrical deformations and the flow at low computational cost. Static and aeroelastic wing deflections are in line with experimental data of the Pazy wing, which is a benchmark for highly flexible wings from Technion. Two flutter mechanisms are predicted within 1 to 3 m/s of the experimental range. An analysis of the flutter modes is performed, showing that the second torsion mode plays a role in flutter, something that had not been published before. Limit cycle oscillations are achieved and are shown to compare well with reference data, with the frequency being within 1% of the experimental value. Finally, results of gust simulations of the Pazy wing are compared to data from experiments and corrections for the wind tunnel measurements are proposed, which should facilitate future validation efforts. This work serves as a contribution to the Pazy wing dataset and is a step towards mid-fidelity simulations for more complex configurations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103955
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Fluids and Structures
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • AePW
  • Aeroelasticity
  • Fluid structure interaction
  • Large deflections
  • Pazy wing

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