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This research investigates the suitability of tensegrity aircraft wing concepts and compares their simulated structural performance to a baseline conventional wing structure. Tensegrity systems consist of a series of compressed struts connected by tensioned cables that place the system in a self-equilibrium state. With all components being loaded axially, a tensegrity system has a potentially high strength-to-weight ratio. Of specific interest, tensegrity systems may provide pathway to morphing aircraft structures through the actuation of cables. Aircraft with wings that are able to alter their sweep, span, chord, and camber are particularly attractive for their ability to change between high maneuverability to high lift to low drag configurations. With an eye towards this application, the present study compares two tensegrity-based wing designs, generated through designer insights and structural topology optimization methods, to the aluminum Van’s RV-4 aircraft rib/spar wing structure, chosen as the baseline performance case.
Andrew P. Murray, Dave Harry Myszka
Primary Advisor's Department
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Stander Symposium Posters, School of Engineering
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
"Assessment of the Structural Suitability of Tensegrity Aircraft Wings" (2020). Stander Symposium Projects. 1969.