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MIT and NASA engineers demonstrate a new kind of airplane wing

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posted on Apr, 2 2019 @ 02:29 AM
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Kind of like designing a square wheel that can change into a round one?




posted on Apr, 2 2019 @ 02:56 AM
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a reply to: TEOTWAWKIAIFF

What happens with the fuel normally carried in wings?.
Unless new wing if viable is used in conjunction with a new propulsion system.



posted on Apr, 5 2019 @ 03:14 PM
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Credit: NASA


Building Planes from Modular Blocks

These “blocks” fit into a space known as a voxel, shorthand for volumetric pixel. Those voxels come together to create the larger wing, in the same way a digital image is made up of smaller pixels. They work like lightweight Lego bricks, forming structures that are able to be deconstructed and reconstructed easily into new shapes. This makes the design scalable, easier to model and adaptive for different tasks and needs. Even repairs and replacements are simplified, since there are fewer unique pieces that make up the aircraft.

Finding the right materials to make these components is just as essential as their design. By using a process known as injection molding – where unique materials like thermoplastic polymers are heated into a liquid state, injected into a mold, and then cooled to a solid state –the resulting lattice structures are as stiff and strong as more traditional metal structures.

nasa.gov - What is MADCAT?.

Found it on the NASA site under the project name, MADCAT.

What you are seeing is the self-similar polyethylene struts in a single space called a "voxel." It how strong each one of these blocks are in relation to the ones around it that determine wing deformation and spring back as a whole.

The site is a good read on what is happening with their idea. They are going to use carbon fiber. The wing as computer assisted in creating the proper shape (so they say, but the MIT article says that they don't need to, so not certain which is more correcterer). They go on to explain that sensors are in the wing sending real time air flow data which the computer feeds back to help shape the wing.

There seems to be two version covered by this page and it would be really helpful to differentiate them so we would know something like, "Version 1 was made with carbon fiber, the newer version was made with injection mold plastic as a demo..." or so.

Still, it is kind of a strange idea to put all these blocks together to get a mechanical metamaterial!



 
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