Nature teaches that the flight of the birds succeeds perfectly since they are able to change the shape of their wings in a continuous manner. The careful observation of this phenomenon has re-introduced in the recent research topics the study of “metamorphic” wing structures; these innovative architectures allow for the controlled wing shape adaptation to different flight conditions with the ultimate goal of getting desirable improvements such as the increase of aerodynamic efficiency or load control effectiveness. In this framework, the European research project SARISTU aimed at combining morphing and smart ideas to the leading edge, the trailing edge and the winglet of a large commercial airplane (EASA CS25 category) while assessing integrated technologies validation through high-speed wind tunnel test on a true scale outer wing segment. The design process of the adaptive trailing edge (ATED) addressed by SARISTU is here outlined, from the conceptual definition of the camber-morphing architecture up to the assessment of the device executive layout. Rational design criteria were implemented in order to preliminarily define ATED structural layout and the general configuration of the embedded mechanisms enabling morphing under the action of aerodynamic loads. Advanced FE analyses were then carried out and the robustness of adopted structural arrangements was proven in compliance with applicable airworthiness requirements.
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