Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering


Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Aaron S. Bradshaw


A new concept called the Flying Wing Anchor was recently proposed that consists of a kite-shaped plate anchor that is installed by free-fall penetration, and then rotates into a position that is near normal to the mooring line. Understanding the free-fall penetration behavior and initial embedment depth is critical to assessing the feasibility of the anchor in sandy soils. Small-scale 1g model tests were performed to investigate the dynamic penetration behavior of the anchor both in dry and saturated sand. Simple numerical models were also developed to model the dynamic penetration under drained and undrained conditions. The results indicated that dynamic penetration is likely an undrained process and the key factor controlling the embedment is the undrained strength and strain rate effects. Considering an undrained loading it may be possible for the Flying Wind Anchor to achieve embedment depths of up to 3 times the anchor height in loose sands.