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NASA tries it the Wrights way...

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posted on Apr, 14 2006 @ 11:12 AM
Wing warping is the newest method NASA is researching at Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards Air Force Base, California. The actual method of using warped wings is very old, and was actually patented by the Wrights brothers who used this design in thier early aircrafts.

The basic idea with wind warping is (correct me if I'am wrong) to control the plane with curled wings, wich is much harder. This system can also be used in very simple paperplane models, where you often curl the end of the wing, to make the plane turn at an other direction.

Planes that have uused the wing warping method

The Wright Flyer
The Bleriot XI following modifications introduced by Raymond Saulnier
The Number 21 by Gustave Whitehead
The Rumpler Taube, the first mass produced military plane in Germany

In practice the method is very hard to conotrol and quite dangerous. The wind warping then got changed to ailerons, the better and safer method that most planes use nowadays.

However wing warping might become an ordinary sight in future aircrafts. At least according to some of the engineers at Edwards air-force base. The reason why the americans ahve redesigned one of thier F/A-18 to have wrapped wings, is to research the possibilities of the method of "curled" wings. Better manouverability and greater speeds. The method of wing wraping could be used in UAV as much as in long range strike bombers...

"The flying qualities of the airplane are very good," he said. "From a piloting standpoint, the airplane is very predictable. I'm able to control it very precisely throughout all the envelope expansion maneuvers that we've done. From a performance standpoint, the simulation experience that I had prior to the flight was very close to what we saw in flight and that the airplane continues to perform flawlessly as we go through the final phase."

Seems the pilots are happy too.

(Notice, the project begun 1996 an the first flight was last year)

press at the first picture for larger size

[edit on 14-4-2006 by Figher Master FIN]

posted on Apr, 14 2006 @ 07:22 PM
I have pics of it flying somewhere, I have to dig them up...........

I saw it fly at Oshkosh almost 3 years ago

[edit on 14-4-2006 by uuhelpus]

posted on Apr, 15 2006 @ 05:23 AM
I always wondered if wing warping would be incorporated into modern aircraft. I think as motors etc. can be made smaller and the field of biomimetics becomes more advanced it will become a more important part of stealth too, if you can flex the wing instead of having separate control surfaces there are less edges for radar returns. What do you guys think?

posted on Apr, 15 2006 @ 05:32 AM
I agree... But that also means making the system much more complicated... But I like the idea...

posted on Apr, 15 2006 @ 05:49 AM
There was a program YEARS ago that used an F-111 to do wing warping. It was called Mission Adaptive Wing. It would change based on the flight characteristics at the time.

The AFTI/F-111 (Advanced Fighter Technology Integration/F-111) Mission Adaptive Wing is a joint USAF and NASA program which is developing and flight demonstrating a smooth variable camber wing and flight control system capable of adjusting the wing's shape in response to flight condition and pilot input in order to maximize aerodynamic efficiency. The program objective is to produce flight substantiated design criteria for a practical wing system that maintains peak aerodynamic efficiency and versatility throughout the broad flight envelopes and diverse mission requirements of future military and civilian aircraft

posted on Apr, 15 2006 @ 06:41 AM
What do you think about the whole idea of using wing warping...??

posted on Apr, 15 2006 @ 06:46 AM
It's an interesting concept IF they can make it work. It has the potential to be big and heavy though, and that's the last thing planes like the Hornet need. I can see it for commercial planes, and it would be GREAT for the airlines. But I don't see something like a fighter needing it as much.

posted on Apr, 15 2006 @ 09:38 AM
I disagree, i dont think airliners particularly require an increase in smooth airflow over the wing. Whereas a fighter could definately benifit from a much more laminar undisturbed flow over the leading and trailing edges.

As i mentioned earlier there are definate posibilities for reduction of a RCS by reducing straight edges along the wing. Although perhaps maintaining a suitably stealthly curve in the like of a B-2 with a constantly varying cross-sectional shape may require immense computing power, so in hindsight maybe there would have to be a trade-off between advantages and disadvantages.

Also you do bring up the point of weight of this system but you would be cutting out an entire hydraulic system used to vary the control surfaces, but replacing it by a complex one. For this to be worth it advanced small motors and flexible materials would be required.

I agree that for the concept to work it would require very advanced technology but I believe this could be a very interesting area of future research.

posted on Apr, 15 2006 @ 09:43 AM
On the contrary. Commercial planes would benefit huge from this technology. They could adapt their wing to the most efficient shape for each phase of the flight. It would cut down on fuel consumption, and increase speed somewhat. That was one of the goals of the MAW concept.

posted on Apr, 15 2006 @ 10:38 AM
In the article I read they talked about overall development... So I believe it could do good in civil as much as military flying... What do you think about bombers and wing warping...??

posted on Apr, 15 2006 @ 10:56 AM
Sorry you are quite right about civil aircraft using it. Compare it to winglets which caught on so much creating an increase in fuel efficinecy. Of course this parallel can only be drawn if wing warping can work at low cost, which I cannot imagine happening in the near future, although in the world of high cost military aviation it could create a niche in the market.

Also on the subject of weight I read the article which appeared in New Scientist and Pete Flick, programme manager at the Air Force Research Laboratory at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, is quoted as saying "design studies show twisty-winged fighter aircraft could be 10 to 20 per cent lighter".

I cannot think of anything that would prevent wing warping being adapted to bombers but like I said earlier, I cant see it working with a B-2 style, stealth, flying-wing aircraft.

This article was written in September 2002, I'd like to imagine a black project in the pipeline utilising this technology!

[edit on 15/4/06 by gfad]

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