Composites researchers Aileen Bowen (PhD student) and co-authors Dr Giovanni Zucco and Professor Paul Weaver have been awarded the 2021 Lockheed Martin Student Paper Award in Structures at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics SciTech Forum (AIAA).
This year’s event was held online from 11–15 and 19–21 January 2021; over 70 high-profile plenary speakers and panelists participated.
There were 2,100 technical presentations, among them was Aileen Bowen’s talk:  “Folding of flexible hinges for aircraft wingtips and wind turbine blades”.
This award-winning paper looks at similarities of structural instabilities between circular and aerofoil cross-sections, that are fundamental to the design of mechanism-free hinges. These hinges have the potential to save weight and reduce system complexity when compared with conventional hinges.
The authors foresee applications for folding wingtips (e.g. boeing777-x) and folding wind turbine blades to simplify their transportation.
The use of folding wingtips will result in significant savings on fuel costs. Folding wind turbine blades is a solution to addresses the current challenges in the transportation of supersized blades