Aeroelasticity is a division of applied mechanics, which analyzes interaction of the aircraft as an elastic system (or elastic aerial vehicle) with atmosphere. Aeroelastic phenomena appear in many engineering areas, for example, structural engineering when studying the wind effect on the bridges and skyscrapers, or in marine application and power-plant engineering. Aeroelasticity analysis is especially important in aviation and rocket science.
Aerodynamic forces acting on the aircraft during the flight cause deformations of the elastic structure, which in turn lead to variation of aerodynamic forces.
All the phenomena considered within the scope of aeroelasticity are divided into static and dynamic. The phenomena that involve interaction of aerodynamic forces and elastic forces of the structure are classified as static. Divergence of the lifting surfaces (i.e. wing, fin), reverse of the aircraft controllers, effect of the structure elasticity on redistribution of aerodynamic pressure and on static aircraft stability are static phenomena considered within the scope of aeroelasticity. The phenomena, for which interaction of aerodynamic inertial forces with elastic forces becomes critical, are classified as dynamic. Flutter, stalling flutter, buffeting, transonic self-oscillations of the aircraft controllers, and response of the elastic structure on the aircraft dynamic stability are dynamic phenomena considered within the scope of aeroelasticity.