A theoretical and experimental investigation of the effects of a steady angle of attack on the nonlinear flutter of a delta wing plate model


Journal Article

Limit cycle oscillations (LCO) of wings on certain modern high performance aircraft have been observed in flight and in wind tunnel experiments. Whether the physical mechanism that gives rise to this behavior is a fluid or structural nonlinearity or both is still uncertain. It has been shown that an aeroelastic theoretical model with only a structural nonlinearity can predict accurately the limit cycle behavior at low subsonic flow for a plate-like wing at zero angle of attack. Changes in the limit cycle and flutter behavior as the angle of attack is varied have also been observed in flight. It has been suggested that this sensitivity to angle of attack is due to a fluid nonlinearity. In this investigation, we study the flutter and limit cycle behavior of a wing in low subsonic flow at small steady angles of attack. Experimental results are compared to those predicted using an aeroelastic theoretical model with only a structural nonlinearity. Results from both experiment and theory show a change in flutter speed as the steady angle of attack is varied. Also the LCO magnitude increased at a given velocity as the angle of attack was increased for both the experiment and theory. While not proving that the observed sensitivity to angle of attack of LCO in aircraft is due to a structural nonlinearity, the results do show that a change in the aeroelastic behavior at angles of attack can be caused by a structural nonlinearity as well as a fluid nonlinearity. In this paper, only structural nonlinearities are considered, but an extension to include aerodynamic nonlinearities would be very worthwhile. © 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Attar, PJ; Dowell, EH; Tang, DM

Published Date

  • February 1, 2003

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 17 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 243 - 259

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0889-9746

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/S0889-9746(02)00123-8

Citation Source

  • Scopus