Development of a novel high authority piezoelectric actuator for rotor blades with trailing edge flaps

Joseph T. Szefi, Eric Mockensturm, Edward C. Smith, Kon Well Wang, Paul Rehrig, Louis Centolanza

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

5 Scopus citations


Conventional piezoelectric ceramic flap actuators have exhibited inadequate levels of stroke and/or force required to produce an angle of rotation in excess of ±5° at 40 Hz for full scale medium sized rotorcraft. Single crystal piezoelectric actuators represent a revolutionary advance in piezoelectric actuator technology. Because crystal electromechanical properties are significantly different than those of ceramic, it should be expected that the use of crystals requires motion amplification techniques that are tailored to crystal behavior. This paper describes a new, high authority trailing edge flap actuator concept for helicopter rotor blade vibration control that has been specifically designed for single crystal stack actuators. Invercon has analytically and experimentally evaluated the feasibility of using single crystals together with a novel, high-moment, highdisplacement, buckling beam flap actuator concept, which is well-suited for single crystal stack actuation. Experimental results show that the buckling beam actuator can dramatically outperform state-of-the-art flap actuators with the capability of displacing a 36 " flap ±5° at 40 Hz under representative aerodynamic loading at 400 RPM. Such actuators also consist of less parts, and are significantly lighter than existing designs. This technology may also enable future Army technologies such as swashplateless rotors and trailing edge flaps for heavy lift rotorcraft.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAHS Internaitonal 62nd Annual Forum - Vertical Flight
Subtitle of host publicationLeading through Innovation - Proceedings
Number of pages11
StatePublished - 2006
Event62nd American Helicopter Society International Annual Forum 2006 - Phoenix, AZ, United States
Duration: May 9 2006May 11 2006

Publication series

NameAnnual Forum Proceedings - AHS International
ISSN (Print)1552-2938


Other62nd American Helicopter Society International Annual Forum 2006
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityPhoenix, AZ

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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