Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Committee Member

Yitung Chen

Number of Pages



The instantaneous shape of the wing has a profound effect on the fluid dynamic forces it can generate. Visualization of the results obtained from the CFD code gives a better understanding of the happenings around a bending airfoil. The proposed Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) model provides detailed design information for the lift and drag forces, velocity and static pressure changes around an airfoil during take off, flying, and lanDing Commercial CFD package---FLUENT is used to evaluate the smart material airfoil aerodynamics performance. The results are then compared with the parametric conventional wings---the wings with flaps. Using smart materials the wings can be designed to vary their stiffness with time. A flexible wing is useful to increase lift and reduce drag. A parametric bending profile of a smart flap is designed considering different types of beams. Cantilever beam with uniformly varying load with roller support at the free end is considered here. The bending profile of the above said beam is similar to the bending profile we are about to investigate. Flexible airfoil is designed using the bending equations. The design is then meshed using GAMBIT and exported to FLUENT. Boundary conditions are defined and CFD modeling is done. One other method is also used for designing the bending flaps. It was named as tangent arc method. The effect of changing pivot point is analyzed since it has considerable impact on aerodynamic performance of smart airfoils. Finally, the assumption made for conventional wings is validated with wind tunnel test data.


Application; Computational; Design; Dynamic; Fluid; Smart; Wing

Controlled Subject

Mechanical engineering; Aerospace engineering

File Format


File Size

2263.04 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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