Shape-shifting wings: next step in aircraft design?

NASA tests shape-changing wings at California research site
Shape-changing wings could be the next innovation to be used on commercial aircraft. A plane with the shape-shifting design, which does away with the flaps seen on most airliners, has been successfully tested by US space agency NASA at the Armstrong Flight Research Center in California.
NASA researchers have been making tests on the wing design since last year, in collaboration with the US Air Force Research Laboratory and engineering company FlexSys Inc.
The “flexible trailing-edge wing flaps” are designed to improve planes’ aerodynamic efficiency, reduce the noise during take-off and landing, and boost energy efficiency.
[photo courtesy NASA]


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