Development of the Main Wing Structure of a High Altitude Long Endurance UAV
To enhance the flight endurance of a HALE UAV, the main wing of the UAV should have a high aspect ratio and low structural weight. Since a main wing constructed with the thin walled and slender components needed for low structural weight can suffer catastrophic failure during flight, it is important to develop a light-weight airframe without sacrificing structural integrity. In this paper, the design of the main wing of the HALE UAV was conducted using spars which were composed of a carbon–epoxy cylindrical tube and bulkheads to achieve both the weight reduction and structural integrity. The spars were sized using numerical analysis considering non-linear deformation under bending moment. Static strength testing of the wing was conducted under the most critical load condition. Then, the experimental results obtained for the wing were compared to the analytical result from the non-linear finite-element analysis. It was found that the developed main wing reduced its structural weight without any failure under the ultimate load condition of the static strength testing.
KeywordsCarbon-composite spar HALE UAV Non-linear structural analysis Structural testing
This study was supported by ‘Study on the light structure and structural integrity improvement technology’ program funded by the National Research Council of Fundamental Science & Technology, Republic of Korea. Their support is gratefully acknowledged.
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