Title Hybrid Inflatable/Rigidizable Wings for High Altitude Applications
Source Proc. 50th AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference 17th AIAA/ASME/AHS Adaptive Structures, paper AIAA-2009-2148
Year 2009
Author(s) Hoyt Haight, A. E.; Jacob, J.; Scarborough, S.; Gleeson D.
Abstract Technologies are being investigated that will enable the production and use of high altitude, long endurance (HALE) aircraft. Requirements for this application include a light weight and low storage volume to allow easier delivery of the vehicle to such altitudes. Ultraviolet (UV) light rigidizable inflatable wings offer a means of achieving the high packing efficiency required as well as offering the capability of higher L/D that is required for HALE applications. Rigidization of inflatable wings is the key, providing several potential advantages, including reduced vulnerability to punctures, increasing stiffness and load-carrying capability, allowing a higher aspect ratio for high altitude efficiency and longer missions, and reducing weight by eliminating the make up pressurization supply.
Keywords Inflatable wings, rigidization, UV cure, light-curing resin, HALE, high altitude, long endurance