This is a bit of late news, but in late March to early April of this year, NASA announced a new design for aircraft. The idea for the fuselage is relatively the same, however, the wings are against traditional. NASA is developing wings that morph during flight. During the different phases of flight, pushback & taxi, takeoff, ascent, cruise, descent, landing, taxi, and gate arrival, the aircraft will change the shape of it’s wings for better efficiency, for fuel and flight time. The morphing is controlled by many small and almost identical parts that are fit together. The design is mainly for a flying wing, and for that reason, the whole aircraft could be made out of these parts, and large production facilities won’t be needed anymore. The large ovens and molds that build the parts of the aircraft won’t be needed anymore. The parts are made of a fiber and polyetherimide mix that is molded. The parts and the aircraft concept as a whole are very light weight. They are even being concepted into spacecraft that could be the next Space Shuttle that gets us to the ISS. You can read the article for itself here.
The Virgin group announced flapping wings for April Fools. Airbus are the ones pursuing this technology, Filton, Bristol, is the facility developing this test aircraft, it’s the first aircraft albeit a model made since Concorde.
Well, to my knowledge, NASA is developing them too.
I’m merely stating that it’s not Virgin who is also developing such technology, Airbus is also. I don’t see it coming to airliners in the future personally. More so an avenue to look at in the quest for more efficient designs
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