Morphing wings and the adaptive systems they form have been developed significantly over recent decades. Increased efficiency and control performance can be achieved with their implementation, while advances in material technology, system integration and control, have allowed concepts to present a realistic alternative to fixed-wing and aft-tail aircraft. Set out in this paper is the preliminary design and development for a novel span-wise morphing concept which employs and heavily implements biomimetic design. Specifically, the skeletal structure of the bird wing by mimicking the humerus, ulna/radius, and carpometacarpus of birds of prey as they exhibit the most versatile wing shape enabling multiple manoeuvre and flight types. The concept comprises three sections corresponding to the skeletal structure, each consisting of a leading edge D-spar and an internal structural member onto which trailing edge plates are mounted. Pneumatic artificial muscle (PAM) actuators are presented as a drive for a biologically derived ‘drawing-parallels’ mechanism, through which a 75% semi-span length change and variable sweep angle, can be obtained. Analysis of initial CFD results is discussed in comparison with similar concepts in the field and a proposal for small scale wind tunnel verification put forward. While a rapid prototype is printed to confirm the viability of the concept.

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