Theoretical investigation of flutter of two-dimensional flat panels with one surface exposed to supersonic potential flow

Herbert C. Nelson, Herbert J. Cunningham
Jan 1956

A Rayleigh type analysis involving chosen modes of the panel as degrees of freedom is used to treat the flutter of a two-dimensional flat panel supported at its leading and trailing edges and subjected to a middle-plane tensile force. The panel has a supersonic stream passing over its upper surface and still air below. The aerodynamic forces due to the supersonic stream are obtained from the theory for linearized two-dimensional unsteady flow and the forces due to the still air are obtained from acoustical theory. In order to study the effect of increasing the number of modes in the analysis, two and then four modes are employed. The modes used are the first four natural modes of the panel in a vacuum with no tensile force acting. The analysis includes these variables: Mach number, structural damping, tensile force, density of the still air, and edge fixity (clamped and pinned). For certain combinations of these variables, stability boundaries are obtained which can be used to determine the panel thickness required to prevent flutter for any panel material and altitude.

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