Published September 1, 2020 | Version v1
Conference paper Open

Aeroelastic optimisation of manufacturable tow-steered composite wings with cruise shape constraint and gust loads

  • 1. Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Kluyverweg 1, 2629 HS Delft, The Netherlands


In the structural design of aircraft wings, aeroelastic tailoring is used to control the aeroelastic deformation to improve the aerostructural performance by making use of directional stiffness. Recently, tow-steered composites, where the fibre angles continuously vary within each ply, have been proven to have the potential to further expand the advantages of aeroelastic tailoring. This work extends TU Delft aeroelastic tailoring framework PROTEUS by introducing a lay-up retrieval step, so that it can be used for the conceptual design of tow-steered composite wing structures. In the extended framework, aeroelastic tailoring and lay-up retrieval are sequentially and iteratively performed to take static and dynamic loads, manufacturing and cruise shape constraints into consideration. The first step is carried out using PROTEUS, in which the lamination parameters and thickness of the wing sections are optimised under manoeuvre and gust load conditions. Further, for ensuring optimal aircraft performance in cruise flight conditions, the jig twist distribution is allowed to be optimised to maintain a desired prescribed cruise shape. In the second step, the stacking sequence, including minimum steering radius constraint, is retrieved. Since the lamination parameters cannot be matched exactly during the retrieval step, the constraints are checked, and tightened to take the performance loss during retrieval into account. The first step is repeated until all constraints are satisfied after fibre angle retrieval. To demonstrate the usefulness of the proposed optimisation framework, it is applied to the design of the NASA Common Research Model (CRM) wing, of which the objective is minimizing wing mass subjected to aerostructural design constraints, such as aeroelastic stability, aileron effectiveness, material strength and buckling load.


This work is supported by the AGILE 4.0 project (Towards Cyber-physical Collaborative Aircraft Development) and has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 Programme under grant agreement no 815122



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