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Shape-changing wings are future of aviation: NASA

Shape-changing wings are future of aviation: NASA
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After six months and 22 research flights, NASA has announced the successful completion of initial flight tests of a new morphing wing technology. The...

Washington: After six months and 22 research flights, NASA has announced the successful completion of initial flight tests of a new morphing wing technology. The shape-changing wings are not only designed to significantly reduce an aircraft's weight as well as the noise it generates during flight, these flaps could save the industry millions of dollars annually in fuel savings.

In tests, the wing's curve remained set anywhere from -2 to 30 degrees but it can be adjusted as needed even in midflight.Eventually, flexible wings can make for lighter, more fuel-efficient planes as well as quieter takeoffs and landings, the US space agency said in a statement.

The technology can be retrofitted to existing airplane wings or integrated into entirely new airframes. Although the flexible 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.

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