Wind tunnel testing of additive manufactured aircraft components
Teo, Z. W.
New, T. H.
Date of Issue2018
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Purpose ‒ This paper reports upon the physical distortions associated with the use of additive manufactured components for wind tunnel testing and procedures adopted to correct for them. Design/methodology/approach ‒ Wings of a joined-wing test aircraft configuration were fabricated with additive manufacturing and tested in a subsonic closed-loop wind tunnel. Wing deflections were observed during testing and quantified using image-processing procedures. These quantified deflections were then incorporated into numerical simulations and results were found to agree well with wind tunnel measurement results. Findings ‒ Additive manufacturing provides cost-effective wing components for wind tunnel test components with fast turn-around time. They can be used with confidence if the wing deflections could be accounted for systematically and accurately, especially at the region of aerodynamic stall. Research limitations/implications – Significant wing flutter and unsteady deflections were encountered at higher test velocities and pitch angles. This reduced the accuracy in which the wing deflections could be corrected. Additionally, wing twists could not be quantified as effectively due to camera perspectives. Originality/value – This paper shows that additive manufacturing can be used to fabricate aircraft test components with satisfactory strength and quantifiable deflections for wind tunnel testing, especially when the designs are significantly complex and thin.
Wind Tunnel Testing
Wind Tunnel Testing
Rapid Prototyping Journal
© 2018 Emerald. This is the author created version of a work that has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication by Rapid Prototyping Journal, Emerald. It incorporates referee’s comments but changes resulting from the publishing process, such as copyediting, structural formatting, may not be reflected in this document. The published version is available at: [http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/RPJ-06-2016-0103].