• Jonathan Cooper

Student thesis: Doctor of Engineering


This thesis presents the contribution that the candidate has made during 35 years as a PhD student, Research Fellow at the RAE Farnborough and then as Lecturer, Senior Lecturer and Professor at Manchester, Liverpool and Bristol universities, to the fields of Aeroelasticity and Structural Dynamics. The importance of the scientific fields of aeroelasticity and structural dynamics for the improvement of aircraft wing performance and reduced environmental effect are overviewed with reference to the classic Breguet Range equation and also the airworthiness certification and testing requirements. This thesis describes a body of work that has furthered the modelling, design and test approaches for the improvement of aircraft wing performance and fuel burn reduction through addressing the following objectives: i. Improved system identification and testing methods for ground vibration and flight flutter testing to enable faster and safer certification ii. Rapid detection of worst case-gust loads to enable faster design trade-off studies iii. Development of morphing mechanisms to optimise aerodynamic shape throughout the flight envelope iv. Improved modelling and design of nonlinear aeroelastic systems v. Improved Flight Flutter testing methodologies for faster and safer flutter clearance vi. Development of folding wing tip devices to reduce gust and manouevre loads and improve roll performance vii. Development of composite aeroelastic tailoring designs to reduce weight and improve static and dynamic aeroelastic characteristics 58 technical papers are presented, categorised into the areas of structural dynamics and system identification, aircraft loads prediction and alleviation, morphing structures, non-linear aeroelasticity, Flight Flutter Testing and aeroelastic tailoring. The original contribution of each paper is detailed along with an outline of its influence and relation to the current state of the art in the various fields.
Date of Award6 Jan 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester


  • System Identification
  • Wind tunnel testing
  • Aeroelasticity
  • Aircraft Loads Prediction and Alleviation

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