NASA test airplane wing that changes shape




NASA has successfully conducted test flights with a plane that was equipped with camber flaps that can change shape. The absence of cracks and corners that arise in the normal unfolding flaps, the airplane must consume less fuel.

The butterfly valve has been developed by the company Flexsys and is supported by the Air Force Research Laboratory. NASA is also a partner in the research program, which will enable more environmentally friendly aircraft.

Almost all airplane wings are provided with valves or flaps curvature in order to increase the surface area of the wing, so that the lift force increases. Unfolded have the aircraft to make less speed before it gets off the ground, while the folded position reduces wind resistance, allowing the unit to cruise consumes less fuel. However, flaps folded aerodynamic not optimal, the sharp corners and cracks which then arise in the wing surface. That leads to higher fuel consumption, while also increasing the noise.

Flexsys flexible flapsFlexsys flexible flapsFlexsys flexible flaps

After wind tunnel testing and previous test flights with the White Knight airplane from Scaled Composites SpaceShipOne to launch the aircraft, began in November 2014 an extensive flight test with flexible flaps. Before a Gulfstream III device was adapted from NASA. The six meter long conventional flaps were removed and replaced by flexible flaps. FlexFoil These valves are made of materials that are normally also used in the aircraft industry.

Flexsys has been working for more than fifteen years of materials that can bend. They are flexible by an internal structure that the stress of the bend divides over the material. Thus, the flaps on the company can remain flexible without the loss of power through material fatigue. Flexsys promises a reduction from five to twelve percent resistance for large aircraft and noise during landing even should decrease by forty percent.

The 22 test flights in the past six months were carried out, mainly had to prove that the technology is mature enough to be airworthy. The flaps were tested for this purpose in all positions, at an angle of -2 degrees to 30 degrees. All tests were successfully completed.


In: Technology & Gadgets Asked By: [15446 Red Star Level]

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