Review of control surface freeplay

Jeet Panchal, Haym Benaroya

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


In the last few decades, there has been an increasing interest in the field of nonlinear aeroelasticity. With substantial improvements in computing capabilities, the control surface freeplay problem is now being reinvestigated by many researchers with the goal of developing more advanced and accurate analytical models. Modern theoretical and experimental analyses of freeplay are opening many new avenues of studies within aeroelasticity. While the fundamental problem is believed to be understood and numerous modeling approaches exist, freeplay research continues to yield different numerical predictions of the aeroelastic dynamical behavior and its associated properties. This paper reviews the recent literature on this topic, showing many variabilities in the parameters that define freeplay and its aeroelastic response, with the majority of the existing models being developed deterministically. The research is categorized into the major subtopics that define the freeplay problem, observing that the phenomena has characteristics of nonlinear dynamics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100729
JournalProgress in Aerospace Sciences
StatePublished - Nov 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


  • Control surface
  • Flutter
  • Freeplay
  • Limit cycle oscillation
  • Nonlinear aeroelasticity


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