Reconfigurable “morphing” rotors – The next frontier

At LMSSC, Cnam, Paris, June 28th 2010, 2 p.m.

Farhan Gandhi
Professor of Aerospace Engineering, Deputy Director, Penn State’s Vertical Lift Research Center of Excellence,
The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, USA

Morphing or shape adaptation in aerospace vehicles offers the opportunity for the vehicle to perform optimally over different portions of the operating envelope, extend the operating envelope (higher altitude, payload and maximum speed capability), and improve operational flexibility. In particular gross morphing, involving large changes in planform geometry (such as changes in span, chord, twist, etc.), can be extremely effective. Gross morphing has already been explored for application to fixed-wing aircraft for some time now. Its application to rotarywing aircraft, however, is much more recent, and has been a significant part of Prof. Gandhi’s research activity in the last five years. In this seminar Prof. Gandhi will walk the audience through the issues and challenges associated with helicopter rotor morphing, present some key technological developments, provide examples of performance of benefits that may be realized with rotor morphing as well as an assessment of where the greatest opportunities might lie in the future. In the US, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) recently announced a multi-million dollar program entitled Mission Adaptive Rotor (MAR), so the rotarywing community is abuzz with excitement, and morphing rotors finally seem poised to take off.


Laboratoire de Mécanique des Structures et des Systèmes Couplés - LMSSC