National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has launched a program Spanwise Adaptive Wing (SAW) with Boeing and Area-I aeronautics company to test wings equipped with actuators that would enable them to fold during flight.
The folding wings project could provide the ability to modify wings for maximum efficiency depending on flight conditions, NASA announced two weeks ago.
An example would be keeping the wings fully extended for maximum lift during takeoff, and then folding the tips down once cruising velocity has been achieved to trade some of that lift for yaw control (the stability of the aircraft around a vertical axis).
"Ideally, we would be able to take that portion of the wing and articulate it up or down to the optimal flight condition that you're in," Matt Moholt, NASA Armstrong principal investigator for SAW, said.
"So let's say you're a condition that requires a climb-out. The optimal position might be up 15 degrees or down 15 degrees, and you would be able to get that.", he added.
Currently, folding wings are primarily used for storing aircraft where space is limited, such as on aircraft carriers. While the XB-70 Valkyrie was used to study this type of wing articulation in the 1960s, NASA engineers believe that improved actuator technology will allow them to push the technology further.
Ideally, they'll be able to precisely refine wing shape while in flight without burdening the airfoil with extra weight or compromised structural integrity.
The SAW system's actuators could be powered by an all-electric system. NASA is investing heavily in low-carbon propulsion technologies as part of the agency's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate.
They are even developing an all-electric X-plane.
SAW technology can be implemented at all stages of flight, from taxing to takeoff to landing to cruise, and even at supersonic speeds. Wing articulation might actually produce the most benefits when traveling faster than the speed of sound.
"In supersonic flight, yaw stability becomes a big issue," said Moholt. "If you're flying supersonically, you have tons of lift. Let's say you need more yaw control. Well, if I fold the wing portion all the way down, I may be able to trade lift in favor of more yaw control where I need it and less lift where I don't need it." Moholt added.
NASA is considering testing SAW technology on the Area-I Prototype-Technology Evaluation and Research Aircraft (PTERA). It is sub-scale aircraft for initial tests due to its array of sensors and research instruments. Early flight testing on the PTERA could happen as soon as Spring 2017, and NASA plans to simultaneously test much larger actuators that could be scaled and implemented on a variety of full-sized aircraft wings.
NASA will test a new propulsion technology using an experimental airplane now designated the X-57 and nicknamed “Maxwell” - a hybrid electric research plane equipped with 14 electric propeller-turning motors located along the wings. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden highlighted the agencys first X-plane designation in a decade during his keynote speech Friday in Washington at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) annual Aviation and Aeronautics Forum and Exposition, commonly called Aviation 2016
Orbital ATK has won a Research and Technologies for Aerospace Propulsion Systems 2 (RTAPS2) contract from NASA to provide advanced space propulsion system technologies. NASA developed the RTAPS2 contract as part of aerospace research activities at the agencys Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio
Google uses a legal loophole to piggyback on NASA to test drones in US airspace as it exempts the company from federal aviation regulations. The partnership with NASA will enable Google to test its commercial drones dodging the federal aviation regulations, the Guardian reported Wednesday
DeTect has commissioned its newest RAPTOR radar wind profiler system for NASA (the National Aeronautics and Space Administration) to assess and monitor wind direction and speed in real-time for rocket launch safety. The RAPTOR radar wind profiler system commissioned at the NASAs Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in USA also helps flight engineers to understand stresses on the launch vehicles, the company announced today
NASAs Marshall Space Flight Center has tested its first 3-D printed rocket engine prototype part made of two different metal alloys. NASA has been making and evaluating durable 3-D printed rocket parts made of one metal, but the technique of 3-D printing, or additive manufacturing, with more than one metal is more difficult, NASA said in a statement on Monday
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is readying its first mission to deflect an asteroid, a move that is likely to help the space agency to understand how Earth can be defended from a planet-destroying impact. The spacecraft for the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) is now moving to the design phase,
Philippine $5.6 Billion Horizon-2 Phase to Fund Four Frigates, Submarines
Diehl to Supply Additional IRIS-T Short Range Air-air Missiles to Thailand
Airbus to Pull Out of UK if Britain Leaves EU without a...
General Dynamics to Supply Hydra Rockets, Warheads to Saudi Arabia, Qatar and...
BEL in Race to Develop Infrared Tracking System For Sukhoi Su-30 MKI...
Draken Wins USAF $280 Million ADAIR Services Contract
Pakistan Signs Deal to Procure 30 T129 ATAK Helicopters from Turkey
BAE Systems Wins $348 Million to Produce 473 Bradley Armored Vehicles
Indias plans of integrating the MBDAs meteor missile on its LCA Tejas and Su-30MKI aircraft may not happen due to...
The most-read stories on the defenseworld
One of the most interesting exhibits at the Dubai Air show 2017 occupies a corner in the Aviation Industries Corporation...
The rising demand for low-cost, combat-capable aircraft that is able to perform a range of missions in an unchallenged environment,...
Amid the proliferation of real-time data from sources such as mobile devices, web, social media, sensors, log files and transactional...
Military activity in various hotspots of the world has increased the demand for ballistic protection that includes headgear, bulletproof vests,...