NASA Testing Morphing Wings That Could Save Millions in Fuel Costs

posted: 04/29/15
by: Discovery.com Staff
NASA Successfully Tests Shape-Changing Wing for Next Generation Aviation

NASA has been busy over the past 6 months testing new technology that allows airplane wings to morph inflight. The Adaptive Compliant Trailing Edge technology could save millions of dollars annually in fuel costs and significantly reduce noise pollution from aircraft.

According to NASA, the ACTE technology reduces the structural weight of aircraft wings and allows engineers to "aerodynamically tailor the wings to promote improved fuel economy and more efficient operations".

Working with the Air Force Research Laboratory and FlexSys Inc., the agency has conducted 22 successful test flights with the new technology. Adjustable up to 32 degrees, the wings can be retrofitted to existing aircraft or incorporated into new designs.

"The completion of this flight test campaign at Armstrong is a big step for NASA's Environmentally Responsible Aviation Project," said project manager Fay Collier. "This is the first of eight large-scale integrated technology demonstrations ERA is finishing up this year that are designed to reduce the impact of aviation on the environment."

Click here for more information from NASA

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