This paper introduces a novel airfoil morphing structure known as the Fishbone Active Camber (FishBAC). This design employs a biologically inspired compliant structure to create large, continuous changes in airfoil camber and section aerodynamic properties. The structure consists of a thin chordwise bending beam spine with stringers branching off to connect it to a pre-tensioned Elastomeric Matrix Composite (EMC) skin surface. Actuators mounted in the D-spar induce bending moments on the spine through an antagonistic pair of tendons in a manner similar to natural musculature systems. Several potential morphing configurations using this concept are introduced. The paper then focuses on a trailing edge morph wherein the compliant spine connects a rigid leading edge D-spar to a solid trailing edge strip. The motivation for exploring this novel morphing architecture is established through analytical aerodynamic comparison to the NACA 0012 airfoil with and without a discrete trailing edge flap. A prototype device is built to explore various aspects of manufacturing this concept, and to prove the large deflection capability of the FishBAC.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.