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DARPA to Test Morphing Wings

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posted on May, 27 2005 @ 08:49 AM
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The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) is set to test two wing designs that can change thier shape in flight. According tot he article, some designs could have the capacity to change wing dimensions and configurations by as much as 300%. The ability for these planes to adapt would go way beyond the variable geometry wings of the F-111, and the F-14.




Two prototypes of a wing that changes shape radically in flight will undergo structural and aerodynamic testing in July and August by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa). These "morphing" wings--the next step beyond traditional variable-geometry wings that change position mechanically--are in development by Lockheed Martin and Hypercomp/NextGen as part of Darpa's Morphing Aircraft Structures (MAS) program. The objective of the program is to develop technology for a new generation of military aircraft that achieves significant multi-role capabilities through the use of morphing components.

The tests will take place at NASA's Langley Research Center and Dryden Flight Research Center. If successful, Darpa may designate a single contractor to design, build and flight test a half-scale, unmanned technology demonstrator--a MAS X-plane--says Terry A. Weisshaar, Darpa's program manager.
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Contractors to Test Morphing Wings




posted on May, 27 2005 @ 03:54 PM
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I personally like this post since it is based on reality. it seems that lately that if a topic is not a topic of fantasy then it isn't taken seriously. they need to break this subject into two forums, one for real life and one for aircraft in fantasy land - not to be confused with dream land.



posted on May, 27 2005 @ 03:57 PM
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FredT:

the links source is not availalble to the public. one has to subscribe to it.

good post



posted on May, 27 2005 @ 04:09 PM
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dang i couldn't read the article either.

but from what's posted it sounded pretty freaking cool@!

spiderj



posted on May, 27 2005 @ 04:32 PM
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Coolsville, daddio! Did it say anything about how they can change up to 300%? The quote you gave us mentioned "traditional variable-geometry wings that change position mechanically" as though these were not going to change position mechanically. What do they do, then? Are they like the ship from that movie, The Navigator?

I thirst for more knowlege about this! I thirst!



posted on May, 27 2005 @ 05:28 PM
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Sorry about the subscription link guys, but sometimes AWST has great articles that are not avalible unless you subscribe.

The posibilites are endless for this type of aircraft esp the F/A variants. Swift efficient cruise to target, then configure for long loiter etc.

Thats why I bet you will see this technology on a UCAV way before its on a manned aircraft. The above configuration is perfect for a SEAD UCAV or a Hunter/Killer type.

However, how much morphing can you do before you alter your RCS?



posted on May, 27 2005 @ 05:33 PM
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Images from the story quoted above



Wing concept fabricated of shape-memory polymer can be rolled up to save space, activated and unfurled for deployment (clockwise from top), then rolled up again.Credit: CORNERSTONE RESEARCH GROUP






[edit on 5/27/05 by FredT]



posted on May, 27 2005 @ 05:40 PM
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That's crazy! If any mods are following this thread, do you think you could give FredT permission to post the whole article since we can't view it?

What'd be really crazy is if they adapted the memory polymer to be a damage control type system, where if a bullet or missile strikes it, it simply adapts its shape to remain aerodynamic even with the damage. That'd be neat.



posted on May, 27 2005 @ 05:42 PM
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Originally posted by junglejake
That's crazy! If any mods are following this thread, do you think you could give FredT permission to post the whole article since we can't view it?


Actually permission would have to be required on both ends to do so



Originally posted by junglejake
What'd be really crazy is if they adapted the memory polymer to be a damage control type system, where if a bullet or missile strikes it, it simply adapts its shape to remain aerodynamic even with the damage. That'd be neat.


I had not thought about the system in that manner
that would be quite a trick to compensate for battle damage.

[edit on 5/27/05 by FredT]



posted on May, 27 2005 @ 06:41 PM
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but I don't see how this would be probable. If it was changing shape in midflight, even the slightest difference in the time that they change (one wing changes faster/slower than another) could cause loss of control and crash. That is the least likely to happen. But, as it changes in midflight, there may be a point where there is inadequate air flow on the wings, which in turn would cause a drop in the lift, and make the plane crash. Although, I may be wrong...

My second point is what someone on this post said about how the wing could stay aerodynamic even though it was hit. If it was hit by a missile, the polymer could be totally blownoff or extremely tattered, making the plane even less aerodynamic. I don't mean to be so negative, but we have to see this, and every topic, from all sides.

[edit on 5/27/2005 by TheRanchMan]



posted on May, 27 2005 @ 08:05 PM
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I just saw this funny video of a transforming dancing car, and wanted to share it...doesn't really tie into the aircraft projects.....but....ahhhh...its morphs.


kick-ass dancing car



posted on May, 27 2005 @ 08:20 PM
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Originally posted by TheRanchMan
My second point is what someone on this post said about how the wing could stay aerodynamic even though it was hit. If it was hit by a missile, the polymer could be totally blownoff or extremely tattered, making the plane even less aerodynamic. I don't mean to be so negative, but we have to see this, and every topic, from all sides.

[edit on 5/27/2005 by TheRanchMan]


I agree, the current technology would, as I understand it, completely fall apart. I was refering to more later generations of smart materials. It appears to me that the polymer used only can maintain two shapes consistantly, but obviously would go through a few other shapes while returning to the form it prefers. If this technology is further developed, which I'm sure it will be, it could be made to compensate for a missile strike. For all I know, the next generation could be a liquid-like material that solidifies in whatever shape its ordered to. Technology's funny like that -- Tell someone in the 1800s about televisions or computers, and it would seem...Can't think of the word
Hope ya got the idea. Today, technology is progressing at such a rate that I wouldn't put damage control type polymers out of the ballpark. I'm sure the military would adore such a thing, too. Imagine, planes, tanks and ships which are neigh-invulnerable!



posted on May, 28 2005 @ 06:37 AM
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Murcielago, that, if you haven't already found out that is, is the UK television ad for the Citroen C4. It a great piece of animation and my 10 year old son said to me straight away how cool would a 'Transformers' movie be using the same animation. I was never a transformers fan myself but I have to agree



posted on May, 28 2005 @ 10:19 AM
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that would be awesome, but would cost a LOT, and be VERY time consuming



posted on May, 28 2005 @ 11:43 AM
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Morphing wing technology has been investigated for several years now. This particular article focuses on advanced "smart" materials and shape alloys. Work is under way to use these kinds of materials to replace conventional control surfaces like ailerons. Instead of deflecting an aileron like on a traditional wing today, the smart material would be able to bend the wing upward or downward more like a bird. It's basically a high-tech version of the wing warping technique the Wright brohers used a hundred years ago.

www.aerospaceweb.org...

Another approach to replacing conventional control surfaces is based on MEMS technology. MEMS, or Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems, are very small devices that move rapidly when receiving electrical current. In an aircraft application, it is possible to place a large number of MEMS devices along the trailing edge of a wing. As they are deflected, the MEMS change the airflow around the wing in the same way deflecting an aileron or a flap would.

These concepts and other "unconventional control" technologies are already in development and will likely be flight tested within the next five years. MEMS-type approaches are probably much closer to production than smart materials, but both will probably find their first applications in missiles and other weapons. These advances would eliminate the need for large fins and large servos that take up a lot of space, weight, and power. It is hoped that unconventional controls will make future missiles more compact to better fit in internal bays, more maneuverable, and cheaper to manufacture.



posted on May, 29 2005 @ 05:16 AM
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does this not remind anyone else of the material described at the roswell story? (although slightly less tin foily...)



posted on May, 30 2005 @ 12:42 PM
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I rememnber seeing a morphing wing wind tunnel test video awhile back on Techtv.It was a coupla seconds but it was really cool.



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