Flexible wings are known to improve the aerodynamic performance of an aircraft. The key benefits of flexible airfoils/wings are the reductions in aerodynamic drag. Current flight control mechanisms operate using hinges, which significantly disrupt the airflow and even generate vortices between the control surface and the wing boundary thereby increasing drag. The ultimate goal of this project is to evaluate the performance of morphed airfoils/wings by numerical simulation. To numerically simulate the morphed airfoils/wings, the open-source software called Ptera will be employed. Ptera is an unsteady vortex-lattice method (UVLM) based solver specifically designed for morphed wing analysis. Ptera Software has been previously validated with experimental data and has been demonstrated to be capable of analyzing single ornithopters. This paper presents the application of Ptera software for the simulation of the steady flow over a rectangular wing with a NACA 0012 airfoil section and for unsteady flow due to a rectangular wing with NACA 0012 airfoil section in the pitching motion. Results are compared with experimental data and computations of other investigators.

Document Type

Final Report

Author's School

McKelvey School of Engineering

Author's Department

Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Class Name

Mechanical Engineering and Material Sciences Independent Study

Date of Submission