Bistable mechanisms for morphing rotors

Terrence Johnson, Farhan Gandhi, Mary Frecker

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


In this paper we explore the use of bistable mechanisms for rotor morphing, specifically, blade tip twist. The optimal blade twist distributions for hover and high-speed forward flight are very different, and the ability of the rotor to change effective twist is expected to be advantageous. Bistable or "snap-through" mechanisms have multiple stable equilibrium states and are a novel way to achieve large actuation output stroke at relatively modest effort for gross rotor morphing applications. This is because in addition to the large actuation stroke associated with the snap-through (relative to conventional actuator/ amplification systems) coming at relatively low actuation effort, no locking is required in either equilibrium state (since they are both stable). In this work, the performance of a bistable twisting device is evaluated under an aerodynamic lift load. The device is analyzed using finite element analysis to predict the device's load carrying capability and bistable behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationActive and Passive Smart Structures and Integrated Systems 2008
StatePublished - 2008
EventActive and Passive Smart Structures and Integrated Systems 2008 - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Mar 10 2008Mar 13 2008

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherActive and Passive Smart Structures and Integrated Systems 2008
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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