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Nhan Nguyen and Eric Ting Awarded U.S. Patent for Aerolastic Wing-Shaping Using Distributed Propulsion
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Nhan Nguyen and Eric Ting Awarded U.S. Patent for Aerolastic Wing-Shaping Using Distributed Propulsion

Nhan Nguyen and Eric Ting have been granted U.S. Patent 9.751,614 entitled, “Aeroelastic Wing Shaping Using Distributed Propulsion” on September 5, 2017. The patent discloses new methods for aeroelastic wing-shaping control for improved aerodynamic efficiency and flight control of distributed propulsion aircraft.

BACKGROUND: Hybrid electric and all-electric propulsion aircraft have been receiving considerable attention in recent years as a new aircraft platform for urban air mobility or better environmental compatibility. Due to the lower power density (power per unit volume) of electric drive motors as compared to gas turbine engines, distributed propulsion becomes necessary to generate the required thrust from multiple thrust-producing propulsors. Aeroelastic wing-shaping control exploits the increase in wing structural flexibility by actively tailoring the spanwise lift distribution using distributed propulsion to gain aerodynamic efficiency. Simulations have shown that the method could achieve about 2% drag reduction. New flight propulsion control methods for this class of future aircraft could afford advantages in reducing the vertical tail size and achieving pro-verse yaw with lower actuator power by aeroelastic wing twist.

NASA PROGRAM FUNDING: Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD) Seedling Fund Project in 2013 entitled, "Wing Shaping Concepts Using Distributed Propulsion Control For Achieving Optimal Spanwise L/D To Reduce Fuel Burn"

ARMD SEEDLING FUND TEAM: Nhan Nguyen, Kevin Reynolds, and Eric Ting

POINT OF CONTACT: Nhan Nguyen, nhan.t.nguyen@nasa.gov

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