Sandwich structures consisting of contact-aided compliant mechanisms are presented for morphing aircraft skin.
A contact mechanism is used to alleviate stresses and to decrease the out-of-plane deflection. A methodology to
design such mechanisms, which takes into account the aerodynamic loads, is presented. The method is applied
to a small UAV and results are compared with those of honeycomb structures in terms of structural mass, global
strain and maximum stresses. Different material models such as linearly elastic and multi-linear elastic are
considered. For linearly elastic materials, contact-induced stress-relief is advantageous and for nonlinear elastic
materials, reduction of transverse deflection due to contact is useful. In either case, the structural mass of the
contact-aided structures is less than that of the corresponding non-contact structures.