Imperial College London

Dr Rafael Palacios

Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Aeronautics

Reader in Aeronautics



+44 (0)20 7594 5075r.palacios




355Roderic Hill BuildingSouth Kensington Campus






BibTex format

author = {Maraniello, S and Simpson, RJS and Palacios, R},
title = {Optimal manoeuvres with very flexible wings},
url = {},
year = {2016}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - © 2016, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA. All rights reserved. The single shooting method is used identify optimal manoeuvres in the lateral dynamics of partially-supported wings of very low stiffiness. The aim is to identify actuation strategies in the design of aircraft manoeuvres in which large wing deflections can substantially modify the vehicle structural and aerodynamic features. Preliminary studies are presented for a representative high-altitude long-endurance aircraft wing in hinged configuration. Nonlinear effects due to large deflections are captured coupling a geometrically exact beam model with an unsteady vortex lattice method for the aerodynamics. The optimal control problem is solved via a gradient-based algorithm. When lowering the wing stiffiness, the nonlinearities connected to the system - such as the fore-shortening effect due to large bending deflections - increase the wing lateral stability but at the same time they also reduce aileron authority. The single-shooting optimisation is shown to capture these features and to provide satisfactory results, not only when refining a predetermined actuation law but also when designing it from zero.
AU - Maraniello,S
AU - Simpson,RJS
AU - Palacios,R
PY - 2016///
TI - Optimal manoeuvres with very flexible wings
UR -
ER -