Morphing Wingtip Paper Published by the AIAA


Stirling Dynamics is pleased to announce that the paper “Design of a Morphing Wingtip” co-written with the University of Bristol, ARA and Alenia Aermacchi, appears in the current issue of the Journal of Aircraft, an AIAA publication.

The paper documents the work conducted on EU Clean Sky project CLARET and looked into the possibility of adding a morphing winglet to a regional jet aircraft with the overall aim being to reduce the fuel consumption and increase the efficiency of smaller aircraft in varying stages of flight. Most modern commercial aircraft have winglets fitted that enable them to fly more efficiently and use less fuel, which works well for large aircraft that spend a lot of time in cruise conditions. However, smaller aircraft spend less time in cruise and more time in climb and descent, so to be as efficient as larger aircraft they would need to have winglets that can move position during flight. Stirling’s contribution to this project was on the aeroelastics analysis for the wing and winglet as well as the systems integration aspect of the technology to determine if such a system could be installed to an aircraft, rather than just being a theoretical study. The results showed that fuel savings of up to 2% can be achieved across a typical flight for a small aircraft by moving the winglet to an optimum position for each phase of the flight.

Being published in the Journal of Aircraft is an impressive achievement for all involved. Stirling’s Research and Development Manager, Simon Hancock stated: “We are really pleased to see our work on the project published in such a prestigious journal. The partnership on the project had the ideal combination of skills and experience to understand and solve the complex technical problems we came across in the research programme”.

To review the paper in full, visit: