An inflatable wing using the principle of Tensairity
, TU Delft
April 1, 2007
The paper describes the new concept Tensairity which can be used to significantly improve the load bearing capacity of inflatable wings. The basic principle of Tensairity is to use an inflatable structure to stabilize conventional compression and tension elements. So far, Tensairity has been mainly used in civil engineering application like roof structures and bridges. In this work, considerations to apply Tensairity to wing structures are given and the construction of two wing-like Tensairity kite prototypes is described. Test results on the Tensairity structure used in these kites are presented and compared to purely air inflated structures. Finally, the advantages of Tensairity wings are discussed and some application areas of these wings are suggested.