Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor's Name

Pezhman Mardanpour

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Cheng- Xian Lin

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Bilal El-Zahab

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Cesar Levy

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member


Aerodynamics and fluid mechanics, aeronautical vehicles, applied mechanics, computer-aided engineering and design, energy systems, other aerospace engineering, structures and materials

Date of Defense



Aeroelastic instabilities such as flutter can be accurately captured by state-of-the-art aeroelastic analysis methods and tools. However, these tools and methods fall short in exposing the reasons behind the occurrence of such instabilities. In this research, the constructal law is used to discover the main cause of the variation in the flutter speed and stress distribution for inflected aircraft wings when compared to its uninflected counterpart. This law considers the design as a physics phenomenon and uses an evolutionary flow principle to explain and predict the occurrence of energy flow configurations (i.e. the flow of stresses throughout the structure).

For this study, a flying wing aircraft with different flap-wise wing inflection is considered. The sectional properties for the flying wing configurations are obtained from Variational Asymptotic Beam Sections (VABS) and aeroelastic stability analyses performed in NATASHA (Nonlinear Aeroelastic Trim And Stability of HALE Aircraft). Finally, VABS recovers the flow of stresses throughout the wings. The stability and stress analyses provide insight into the changes in the flow of stresses as the geometry changes. Structural analyses reveal that inflection of the wings has the potential to "smoothen" the flow of stresses i.e. the inflected configuration provides an easier access to the flow of stresses and has less stress strangulation. It is this configuration that is most stable.





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