It has long been recognized that frequency and phasing of structural modes in the presence of airflow play a fundamental role in the occurrence of flutter. Animation of simulation results for the long, slender Semi-Span Super-Sonic Transport (S4T) wind-tunnel model demonstrates that, for the case of mass-ballasted nacelles, the flutter mode can be described as a traveling wave propagating downstream. Such a characterization provides certain insights, such as (1) describing the means by which energy is transferred from the airflow to the structure, (2) identifying airspeed as an upper limit for speed of wave propagation, (3) providing an interpretation for a companion mode that coalesces in frequency with the flutter mode but becomes very well damped, (4) providing an explanation for bursts of response to uniform turbulence, and (5) providing an explanation for loss of low frequency (lead) phase margin with increases in dynamic pressure (at constant Mach number) for feedback systems that use sensors located upstream from active control surfaces. Results from simulation animation, simplified modeling, and wind-tunnel testing are presented for comparison. The simulation animation was generated using double time-integration in Simulink of vertical accelerometer signals distributed over wing and fuselage, along with time histories for actuated control surfaces. Crossing points for a zero-elevation reference plane were tracked along a network of lines connecting the accelerometer locations. Accelerometer signals were used in preference to modal displacement state variables in anticipation that the technique could be used to animate motion of the actual wind-tunnel model using data acquired during testing. Double integration of wind-tunnel accelerometer signals introduced severe drift even with removal of both position and rate biases such that the technique does not currently work. Using wind-tunnel data to drive a Kalman filter based upon fitting coefficients to analytical mode shapes might provide a better means to animate the wind tunnel data.
Aircraft Stability and Control; Aerodynamics
AIAA Paper 2014-1197
AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference; 13-17 Jan. 2014; National Harbor, MD; United States