Aeroelasticity of Nonlinear Tail / Rudder Systems with Freeplay
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This thesis details the development of a linear/nonlinear three degree of freedom aeroelastic system designed and manufactured at the University of Washington (UW). Describing function analysis was carried out in the frequency domain. Time domain simulations were carried out to account for all types of motion. Nonlinear aeroelastic behavior may lead to limit cycles which can be captured in the frequency domain using describing function approximation and numerically using Runga-Kutta integration. Linear and nonlinear aeroelastic tests were conducted in the UW 3x3 low-speed wind tunnel to determine the linear flutter speed and frequency of the system as well as its nonlinear behavior when freeplay is introduced. The test data is presented along with the results of the MATLAB-based simulations. The correlation between test and numerical results is very high.