Morphing aircraft is one of the most promising technology that can help reduce fuel burn, noise, and emissions. A morphing aircraft continuously adjust its wing geometry to enhance flight performance, control authority, and multi‐mission capability. One of the main challenges facing the design of a morphing aircraft is the development of morphing skins. The design of morphing skins has many conflicting requirements. The skin must be flexible enough to allow shape changes but at the same time it must be stiff enough to withstand the aerodynamic loads and maintain the require profile of the wing.
Although a range of morphing skins exist in literature, however fatigue and failure of morphing skins have not been addressed and there is still a lot to be done in this area. Crack initiation and propagation through the skin can results in degrading the aerodynamic efficiency of the wing, while failure of the skin results in losing the aerodynamic shape of the wing resulting in partial or complete stall that might cause the aircraft to crash. The main aim of this proposal is to develop a framework to examine and assess the endurance of morphing skins and to identify the impact of design and operational parameters on the failure modes of the skin. In addition, this project will develop a novel generic experimental test rig that simulate the in‐flight loads on the skin.