Nasa unveils shape-changing bird-like plane wing

Posted by K R on

Nasa has jointly developed a plane wing that can change shape during flight.

The US space agency says the new wing will "save millions of dollars annually in fuel costs, reduce airframe weight and decrease aircraft noise during take-offs and landings." The wing features a seamless flexible edge that can move up or down more subtly than traditional hinged flaps. The joint project involved Nasa, Air Force Research Laboratory and private tech firm FlexSys. During six months of testing, an aircraft featuring the experimental control surfaces was flown at fixed flap angles ranging from -2 degrees to 30 degrees for data collection purposes, Nasa said. But the flexible Adaptive Compliant Trailing Edge (ACTE) wing is designed to go through the full range of positions during a flight, making the operation of the wing much more like that of a bird. Making the wing seamless allows for smoother airflow, which reduces friction and so cuts fuel costs. Read More: BBC News

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