On the 12th March 2014, Dr. Jonathan Cooper from the University of Bristol presented a paper co-authored by the University of Bristol, Stirling Dynamics, the Aircraft Research Association and Alenia Aermacchi at Greener Aviation 2014. Greener Aviation is a conference which reviews research conducted under EU initiative Clean Sky, the largest aeronautical research programme in Europe, and is held in Brussels between the 12-14th March 2014. Clean Sky is an ambitious programme, which is equally funded by the European Commission and the aviation industry, running from 2008 to 2017. The programme aims to develop new technologies into working technology demonstrators that can significantly reduce the ecological footprint caused by the aviation industry in terms of fuel burn and noise emissions.
The paper presented by Dr. Jonathan Cooper, entitled “Optimization of morphing wings for improved environmental performance”, explores the possibility of adding a morphing winglet to a regional jet aircraft. In large aircrafts, winglets can provide beneficial effects both in terms of drag reduction and span wise loading for particular phases of flight, including during gusts, however these winglets tend to be static. The concept of morphing winglets was investigated to see what effect the winglet geometry has on important design factors like static and dynamic wing loads, and overall wing drag. The overall aim being to reduce fuel consumption of the smaller aircraft in varying stages of flight, and increase efficiency. The paper was written as a result of research conducted on Clean Sky project CLARET