Shape Changing Wings:
NASA successfully completed flight tests of a morphing wing technology. Flap angles were adjusted from -2 degrees up to 30 degrees during the six months of testing. Image Credit: NASA
Shape Changing Wings
NASA researchers, who have been working in equilibrium with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and FlexSys Inc, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, successfully completed initial flight tests of a new morphing wing technology that has the potential to save billions annually in fuel costs, reduction in airframe weight and decrease aircraft noise during takeoffs and landings.
The test team at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Centre in Edwards, California, flew 22 research flights during the past six months with experimental Adaptive Compliant Trailing Edge (ACTE) flight control surfaces that offer significant improvements over conventional flaps used on existing aircraft. Flight testing was key to proving the concept’s airworthiness. The test aircraft was flown with its experimental control surfaces at flap angles ranging from -2 degrees up to 30 degrees.
Although the flexible ACTE flaps were designed to morph throughout the entire range of motion, each test was conducted at a single fixed setting in order to collect incremental data with a minimum of risk. The results of these flight tests will be included in design trade studies performed at NASA’s Langley Research Centre in Hampton, Virginia, for designing future large transport aircraft.
Recently NASA announced that Space Taxi will be built for tourist.