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rotating14
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Airbus Patents Folding Wingtips

Wed Oct 28, 2015 4:29 am

Where there is smoke, there's definitely fire. Airbus has decided to go the Boeing route and develop a downward folding wingtip for its large planes.


http://www.dailypost.co.uk/business/...dges-patent-folding-wings-10338863
 
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Francoflier
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RE: Airbus Patents Folding Wingtips

Wed Oct 28, 2015 5:49 am

Downwards?

I don't like the odds of FOD taxying around a busy airport and into equipment-packed gates while dragging your wingtips on the ground...
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DocLightning
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RE: Airbus Patents Folding Wingtips

Wed Oct 28, 2015 7:03 am

Quoting francoflier (Reply 1):
Downwards?

Airbus says that it's to avoid the need for heavy actuators and locking systems, but I can't see how it makes a difference. There still needs to be an extension of a load-bearing pin through a locking sleeve in the wingtip and the actuator needs to lift the wing into flight configuration, rather than out of it.
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ZaphodHarkonnen
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RE: Airbus Patents Folding Wingtips

Wed Oct 28, 2015 7:54 am

I imagine part of it is also to avoid any chance of a legal challenge from Boeing.

As for the idea. It could work. You'll need to do a lot of research into the ground dangers but there are already plenty of rules around how high and close and wide things like taxiways need to be. Plus I expect ground crew don't currently drive a lot under the wing tips so no real change in procedure there.

Hmmmmmm, and I just thought. Would these kind of auto deploy? Say the lift produced as it does the take off roll actually swings the winglets out and then the lift force keeps them forced up during flight. That way would avoid the need for actuators and big locking systems.

Unfortunately there's no link to the actual filing so I don't know for sure.
 
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zeke
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RE: Airbus Patents Folding Wingtips

Wed Oct 28, 2015 7:57 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 2):
I can't see how it makes a difference.

Lift force will keep the wingtip extended.
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LU9092
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RE: Airbus Patents Folding Wingtips

Wed Oct 28, 2015 2:08 pm

Quoting zeke (Reply 4):
Lift force will keep the wingtip extended.

Would it also provide the force for the actual extension? A pretty cool way of saving weight and complexity if so. Would they need some means of damping motion during taxi and a way of preventing the tips from "banging against the stops" as they fall when the tips stall below a certain airspeed on rollout? What about behavior as the wingtip nears a stall in flight?
 
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seahawk
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RE: Airbus Patents Folding Wingtips

Wed Oct 28, 2015 3:37 pm

Imho this is obviously aiming at a plane with over 80m wingspan, where the inability to fold the wingtip could cause big trouble after arrival at an airport. The upward folding one is better for planes which still fir the 80m, box but need to fold the wingtip to use smaller gate positions. Simple reason is, the upwards folding one has the higher failure chance when being folded, this has the higher failure rate when being extended.
 
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Matt6461
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RE: Airbus Patents Folding Wingtips

Wed Oct 28, 2015 3:44 pm

Quoting seahawk (Reply 6):
Imho this is obviously aiming at a plane with over 80m wingspan

I would love to agree with this, and interpret it as a sign that Airbus will rewing the A380 or build a successor VLA. But I think this could just as easily be used for an A350-1100X or new Code E super-twin.

Airbus already has a different patent for a folding wing. IIRC it rotates the wingtip 90 degrees into the vertical plane before retraction/deployment.

I don't think this "smoke" is much sign of a fire, unfortunately. A and B are constantly patenting things they *might* use some day.
 
LH707330
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RE: Airbus Patents Folding Wingtips

Wed Oct 28, 2015 7:25 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 2):
Airbus says that it's to avoid the need for heavy actuators and locking systems, but I can't see how it makes a difference. There still needs to be an extension of a load-bearing pin through a locking sleeve in the wingtip and the actuator needs to lift the wing into flight configuration, rather than out of it.

They're going to sell it to Southwest. On taxi out, they need to pick up enough speed for the wings to flap up, then the pins lock it in place 
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Airbus Patents Folding Wingtips

Wed Oct 28, 2015 9:01 pm

Quoting ZaphodHarkonnen (Reply 3):
Hmmmmmm, and I just thought. Would these kind of auto deploy? Say the lift produced as it does the take off roll actually swings the winglets out and then the lift force keeps them forced up during flight. That way would avoid the need for actuators and big locking systems.

That's an interesting thought. As the aircraft rotates to take flight the wings flip out and auto-deploy up against some hard stops. The aircraft would never exceed the 80m maximum span until it rotates. You might need some sort of locking mechanism, though, to keep it from bouncing around during turbulence. A bigger issue would be that if there were some sort of sticking or failure in the extension mechanism it would not become apparent until the moment of rotation and only passengers would be able to see the failure, so the aircraft would have to be certified to fly with both wingtips stuck down.

The other thing is that I'm not exactly sure how the load path would work if it's just hinged. Would the hinges transmit the entire load?
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skyhawkmatthew
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RE: Airbus Patents Folding Wingtips

Wed Oct 28, 2015 10:17 pm

Quoting ZaphodHarkonnen (Reply 3):
Would these kind of auto deploy?
Quoting DocLightning (Reply 9):
As the aircraft rotates to take flight the wings flip out and auto-deploy up against some hard stops.

My thought would be you would still have a motor to extend the wingtip up to the stops prior to commencing take-off, and some kind of locking mechanism to keep it there against gravity (or it could just be a system like a light twin's undercarriage that is simply held up by hydraulic pressure), but this locking mechanism can be much lighter/weaker than on a downward-deploying wingtip because once airborne the aerodynamic forces will hold it in position against the stops even if the uplock fails.
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jetmech
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RE: Airbus Patents Folding Wingtips

Wed Oct 28, 2015 10:26 pm

Quoting francoflier (Reply 1):
I don't like the odds of FOD
Quoting ZaphodHarkonnen (Reply 3):
Plus I expect ground crew don't currently drive a lot under the wing tips so no real change in procedure there.

Perhaps the fold angle could be close to 180 degrees?

Regards, JetMech
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bohica
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RE: Airbus Patents Folding Wingtips

Wed Oct 28, 2015 11:29 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 9):
A bigger issue would be that if there were some sort of sticking or failure in the extension mechanism it would not become apparent until the moment of rotation and only passengers would be able to see the failure, so the aircraft would have to be certified to fly with both wingtips stuck down.

I would be more concerned if only one of them was stuck in the down position at rotation. That would obviously create more lift on one side than the other at a very critical moment.
 
RetiredWeasel
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RE: Airbus Patents Folding Wingtips

Thu Oct 29, 2015 1:43 am

A lot of crazy 'what if's' on this topic. I'll flatly state that if this concept comes to pass (and why not, the Navy has been using this space saver for decades), then the aircraft would not even get to the takeoff position without the outer wing panels being in flight position and LOCKED. And yes, they would have to be locked (not some sort of hinged structure flapping in turbulence) to pass any type of certification which tests negative g limits on the aircraft.

Up and locked would be just another pre-takeoff check much like TO flaps.

[Edited 2015-10-28 18:44:35]

[Edited 2015-10-28 18:46:18]
 
David L
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RE: Airbus Patents Folding Wingtips

Thu Oct 29, 2015 8:45 am

Quoting RetiredWeasel (Reply 13):
Up and locked would be just another pre-takeoff check much like TO flaps.

You don't think the regulators would settle for "Wing and Prayer... ARMED"?  
 
ZaphodHarkonnen
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RE: Airbus Patents Folding Wingtips

Thu Oct 29, 2015 9:51 am

Quoting jetmech (Reply 11):
Perhaps the fold angle could be close to 180 degrees?

The problem there is you need beefy locks to hold them in place at the gate. The pic in the article that seems to be from the application shows the wingtips just hanging down in a vertical fashion.

Quoting bohica (Reply 12):
I would be more concerned if only one of them was stuck in the down position at rotation. That would obviously create more lift on one side than the other at a very critical moment.

Doubt it'd be that much of a problem as all the major lift devices will be inboard of the hinge and all the attitude control. So if one fails you'd have more than enough control authority to do a quick go around and landing. I expect that'd be a huge requirement from any aviation authority.

Quoting RetiredWeasel (Reply 13):
Up and locked would be just another pre-takeoff check much like TO flaps.

I could see something like that. You could probably put in the avionics a time limit for how long the winglets can be up without lift helping keep them up.

It'll be neat to see what happens anyways.
 
roseflyer
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RE: Airbus Patents Folding Wingtips

Thu Oct 29, 2015 5:48 pm

In that sketch, the wing tips look very low. They look to be almost as low as the bottom of the engine cowl. That is going to cause problems in gates. There is a lot of equipment that has to go under the wing tips in tight gates. If two of these wing tips are folded down on adjacent planes, I don't know how fuel trucks, baggage carts, ramp vehicles, etc are going to maneuver. I also think there is risk of a pilot hitting ground equipment. Often times there are vehicles parked in tight spaces around the gate area. If a plane is any where near off the center line, they can hit a vehicle.
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jetmech
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RE: Airbus Patents Folding Wingtips

Thu Oct 29, 2015 8:32 pm

Quoting ZaphodHarkonnen (Reply 15):
The problem there is you need beefy locks to hold them in place at the gate.

It depends on how you go about providing the locking. If the locking is inbuilt to the folding mechanism at the hinge line, then additional beefiness would be likely.

If you have some sort of locking mechanism at the tip of the folding panel and the corresponding location on the fixed part of the wing you can get away with something much lighter.

The locking mechanism for the E2 Hawkeye / C2 Greyhound is a good example as shown by these photos from 2H4.

http://www.jasonmcdowell.net/photos/381623509_6572g-XL.jpg

http://www.jasonmcdowell.net/photos/380429880_MpJj4-XL.jpg

Regards, JetMech
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