Aeroelastic Wind Tunnel Testing and Aeroelasticity Considerations for Non-Aeroelastic Tests


This course is specific to aeroelasticity concerns and wind tunnel testing. The greater emphasis will be on the testing of aeroelastic models; however, some attention will be given to aeroelasticity considerations for non-aeroelastic tests. Some historical perspective on aeroelasticity will be provided including coverage of the discipline field and specifically wind tunnel testing. Major aspects of wind tunnel testing particularly pertinent to aeroelasticity will be covered. Testing techniques specific to various types of aeroelastic phenomena will be introduced. In the hopes of conveying realistic applications, a number of case-study-type reviews encompassing several aeroelastic behaviors, various configuration types, and diverse project objectives will be presented. The planned course material will be predominately basic material appropriate to practical application without great depth from a theoretical or academic perspective, though higher-level methodologies will be identified and references provided.

Key Topics:

  • To provide a historical overview on wind tunnel testing for aeroelasticity
  • To provide a basic understanding of aeroelastic phenomena
  • To convey key considerations for aeroelastic model design, fabrication and testing
  • To inform students regarding critical aspects of aeroelastic wind tunnel testing
  • To build an awareness of aeroelasticity concerns of potential impact for non-aeroelastic tests
  • Click below for full outline

Who Should Attend:

This course is formulated for individuals with limited knowledge of aeroelasticity having an interest or need to understand the discipline, particularly with respect to the potential of formulating or supporting aeroelastic wind tunnel tests, and also those wishing to understand aeroelastic influences or concerns for non-aeroelastic tests.

General Course Information:

  • Type of Course: Instructor-Led Short Course
  • Course Level: Intermediate
  • Course Length: 1 day
  • AIAA CEU's available: Yes

Course Outline

  1. Background on aeroelasticity and wind tunnels
    1. Historical overview of aeroelasticity testing
    2. Review of some experimental test projects
    3. Introduction to aeroelastic wind tunnel testing
    4. Calibrations
    5. Statistical quality control

  2. Aeroelastic wind tunnel testing
    1. The Transonic Dynamics Tunnel
    2. Standard and advanced instrumentation techniques
    3. Dynamic data acquisition
    4. Preliminary aeroelastic model design: model support systems

  3. Model design, fabrication and testing
    1. Aeroelastic model design and fabrication
    2. Flutter and divergence testing
    3. Buffet testing

  4. Wind tunnel testing case studies
    1. Flutter clearance
    2. Buffet and general dynamic response
    3. Active control testing
    4. Unsteady aerodynamic code verification
    5. Special considerations
      1. Smart material applications/testing
      2. Morphing aircraft configurations

  5. Aeroelasticity considerations for non-aeroelastic testing
    1. Review of some model failures
    2. Possible aeroelastic problems typical of wind tunnel models (model technical issues of concern)
    3. Model criteria requirements as foundation of safe model testing

  6. Concluding remarks

Course Instructor:

Stan Cole is the retired Head of the Aeroelasticity Branch, Research Directorate at the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA. Since 1982, Mr. Cole has worked in the field of aeroelasticity with a strong emphasis on experimentation. He has led, assisted, or had oversight responsibilities for dozens of aeroelasticity wind-tunnel tests.


AIAA Training Links