Saint Louis University

A Modern Approach to Wing Warp for Aircraft Control

Fixed and Variable Geometry Rhomboid Wings using Torsion Bars to Bend or Warp the Wings for Aircraft Control

Inventor: Professor Marty A. Ferman, Ph.D


A new improved aerodynamic body is provided which combines the desirable properties of a fixed or variable geometry rhomboid wing with the flutter stability and wing warping control of a torsion bar system. This concept can be used on any major lifting surface of any flight vehicle. Using torsion bars provides the potential for achieving variable wing stiffness or twist angle or both.


There are several advantages associated with the system of torsion bars. Accurate control of static twist and deflection of the aircraft wing could provide control of lift, moment, and drag produced by the wing and thus control overall airplane aerodynamics. Better control dynamic aeroelasticity could allow for reduction in gust and buffet responses thereby reducing fatigue loading potential. Control surfaces are not as efficient as a twisted wing in producing aerodynamic forces and can deteriorate thus requiring more maintenance.

A wing design incorporating a torsion bar system to control the aerodynamic properties of the wing can eliminate or at least minimize the need for control surfaces and produce a design that is smoother and lighter than the conventional flap, aileron, tab, elevator, spoiler, slat concepts. Dependence on conventional wing control surfaces can be significantly reduced and possibly eliminated entirely in some cases using this new torsion bar system.

Keywords: Aerodynamic, wing warp, aeroelastic tailoring, twist wing, torsion bar, rhomboid, variable geometry

Patents: U.S. Patent No. 7,131,611

License and/or Other Collaborative Research Opportunities: Available

Reference Number: SLU 03-018

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