Experimental aircraft for testing of aeroelasticity and flight dynamics
Group Members
Thomas Burton, Eren–Selim Iusuf, Andrei-Calin Juganaru, Mate–Erik Moni, Andrei-Teodor Stavre
Dr Andrea Da Ronch, Dr Davide Lasagna, Dr Roeland de Kat
Having an experimental way to present complex concepts to students enrolled in modules such as SESA 2025 (Mechanics of Flight) and SESA 3026 (Aircraft Structural Design) will be beneficial to the learning outcomes. The idea of this project is to provide such a tool which would aid students and lecturers alike in researching dynamic modes in rigid and flexible wing arrangements as well as aeroelastic phenomena. The aim is to design and manufacture a Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) with two interchangeable sets of wings which would then be tested in the wind tunnel to assess its suitability in a scientific environment.

The deliverables are represented by the analytical, numerical and experimental predictions which can be compared to each other and also replicated by other interested students. In the first set of wind tunnel tests, the safety and integrity of the system was assessed and initial results for the dynamic response of the rigid wing aircraft were obtained. The equivalent numerical analysis was carried out using different software and the results are similar. The challenging wind tunnel tests based on the flexible wing were cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The output of the project is represented by a low cost, light UAV with a modular wing-fuselage attachment and two sets of wings. The model is fully functional, allowing for large quantities of data to be acquired.


Exploded view of the UAV
1 – Nose
2 – Nose Attachment
3 – Fuselage Extension (increased working area for the electronics)
4 – Fuselage/Wind Tunnel Attachment
5 – Wing/Fuselage Attachment
6 – Supporting Rib
7 – Backcone Attachment
8 – Backcone
9 – Horizontal Stabilizer/Vertical Stabilizer Attachment


UAV Mounted on the Dynamic Attachment
UAV Mounted on the Static Attachment
Wind Tunnel Attachment
Cutaway render showing payload