Could These New NASA Shape-Shifting Wings Change Aviation?
April 30, 2015
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  • According to NASA, the test team has completed 22 flights during the past six months using experimental Adaptive Compliant Trailing Edge flight control surfaces.

    Those controls can be used to create the best aerodynamics for different flying conditions, designed to both improve efficiency — while reducing environmental impact — and reduce noise.

    The test aircraft was flown with flap angles ranging from -2 degrees up to 30 degrees during the testing.

    NASA worked with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and aeronautics firm FlexSys to develop the new wings.

    The technology can be retrofitted on existing aircraft or incorporated into new production, opening a wide range of potential opportunities for Wichita’s aviation manufacturers.

    And those opportunities could be coming soon.

    “We are thrilled to have accomplished all of our flight test goals without encountering any significant technical issues,” said Pete Flick, AFRL Program Manager from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. “The flights cap 17 years of technology maturation … and the technology is now ready to dramatically improve aircraft efficiency for the Air Force and the commercial aviation industry.”