Title page for ETD etd-05122011-095439

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Butt, Lauren Marie
Author's Email Address lbutt@vt.edu
URN etd-05122011-095439
Title Design Optimization of a High Aspect Ratio Rigid/Inflatable Wing
Degree Master of Science
Department Aerospace and Ocean Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Kapania, Rabesh K. Committee Chair
Bhatia, Manav Committee Member
Schetz, Joseph A. Committee Member
  • Inflatable Wings
  • Aeroelasticity
  • Design Optimization
Date of Defense 2011-04-29
Availability unrestricted

High aspect-ratio, long-endurance aircraft require different design modeling from those with traditional moderate aspect ratios. High aspect-ratio, long endurance aircraft are generally more flexible structures than the traditional wing; therefore, they require modeling methods capable of handling a flexible structure even at the preliminary design stage.

This work describes a design optimization method for combining rigid and inflatable wing design. The design will take advantage of the benefits of inflatable wing configurations for minimizing weight, while saving on design pressure requirements and allowing portability by using a rigid section at the root in which the inflatable section can be stowed.

The multidisciplinary design optimization will determine minimum structural weight based on stress, divergence, and lift-to-drag ratio constraints. Because the goal of this design is to create an inflatable wing extension that can be packed into the rigid section, packing constraints are also applied to the design.

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