An aerodynamic analysis is conducted for morphing winglets on a regional aircraft. The optimum drag, bending moment, stall angle and maximum lift coeffcient are evaluated for various mission segments by varying winglet design parameters. Aero-elastic studies are conducted in order to incorporate wing deformation effects in addition to exploring maneuver load alleviation capability of the morphing winglet.
The results show drag benefit up to 1% in cruise and wing bending moment and winglet bending moment benefits of 2.4% and 63% at 2.5g symmetric maneuver conditions. The total aircraft drag benefit translates to additional allowable structural weight that can be applied to the design of winglet actuation system. The morphing winglet shows superior stall behavior and attenuates high wing loads. The estimated wing-winglet loads will help in proper selection of actuators. This study is also expected to help in elevating technology readiness level of the morphing winglet technology.