A Variable Stiffness Spar (VSS) Approach for Aircraft Maneuver Enhancement

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 40965
Amount: $99,812.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 1998
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
7430 E. STETSON DRIVE, Scottsdale, AZ, 85251
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Ping Chih Chen
 (602) 945-9198
Business Contact
Phone: () -
Research Institution
An innovative variable stiffness spar (VSS) approach is proposed for the enhancement of aircraft roll performance. F/A-18 pre-roll-modification aircraft (F/A-18 PRM) is selected as the baseline aircraft for its low torsional wing stiffness and available baseline data. The F/A-18 PRM, when integrated with VSS (F-18/VSS), requires only the outboard trailing-edge aileron for roll maneuver. The present objective is to explore when and how to best apply the F-18/VSS concept and to access its payoff in terms of weight impact, maximum performance, and ease of structural integration. The success of the F-18/VSS concept relies upon optimal design of the VSS stiffness scheduling with an ample range for VSS to apply post-reversal control for best roll maneuver while satisfying strength, flutter and gust response constraints.The feasibility study of the F-18/VSS concept will be performed using a proven engineering tool called ASTROS*. ASTROS* is the enhanced version of the MDO software ASTROS with the integrated ZAERO (unified unsteady/steady aerodynamics covernig subsonic to hypersonic Mach numbers) and ASE (aeroservoelastic optimization/analysis) modules. In addition, the impact of dynamic instability on roll performance will be investigated where a trade-off study between flutter suppression by passive and active means will be performed.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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