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NASA Morpher

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posted on Mar, 27 2004 @ 12:57 AM
Some interesting stuff here. Forgive me if there is already a post like this, search didn't show anything.

NASA Shapshifting Experement known to most people as the Morpher, lately hasn't been in the news at all in terms of NASA and aircraft news... or any for that matter.

So here is some info for people out there who have not heard of this aircraft... or simply want more info:

Going beyond wings that merely flex, scientists and engineers have also been developing aircraft surfaces capable of molding themselves from one shape into another, much as arm muscles bulge and flatten. These possibilities arise largely from the use of so-called smart materials, a broad range of substances that can shorten, elongate, flex, and otherwise respond mechanically to electricity, heat, light, or magnetic fields (SN: 11/22/97, p. 328: Even on a modest scale, such reshaping of aircraft contours could greatly enhance vehicle control and performance.

Info on structures can be found here:

Mission updates:

An aircraft capable of changing its features by reacting and adapting to diverse, multi-variable conditions in flight is the kind of vehicle that could typify the future.

However, don't expect the technology to immediately materialize into some of the far-out conceptual aircraft capable of radically "morphing" their shape, said Anna McGowan, Morphing Aircraft project manager at NASA's Langley Research Center. In fact, it will likely be in much smaller ways that the technology will first be seen.

Hope that's some insite for some people. If anyone else knows anything about this project I'd like to hear it.

[Edited on 27-3-2004 by Shugo]

posted on Mar, 27 2004 @ 02:43 AM
That's pretty cool. I bet it would have lots of uses in things other than aircraft. I am in a weird mood so I will obstain from suggesting what any might be.

posted on Mar, 27 2004 @ 07:17 AM
I like it to be in my car. just like in the movies that the door wil slide open just as you give it a proper signal....

posted on Mar, 27 2004 @ 07:58 AM
that's awesome. great find!

it's amazing, the innovations in sciecnce that have been coming up lately. i wonder how they would do it for the airoils though, because if it distorts improperly, that would mean bad news i would think. i really don't see the neccesary applications for it though? perhaps one airfoil shape for subsonic, one for super and faster...

posted on Mar, 27 2004 @ 08:06 AM
Heck, the fuel savings in drag reduction would be well worth having these wings! Optimal airfoil for any speeds? Ho, yeah!

posted on Mar, 27 2004 @ 10:29 AM
Saw a little video clip of a wind tunnel morphing test on Techtv awhile back.It was a wing that shift-shaped up and down.It looked freaky.

posted on Mar, 27 2004 @ 05:33 PM
I think we NEED that tech.

1) it will make wings lighter, smoother, robuster
that all means more fuel, longer range...and what about
the nozzle they mentioned?

2) Maybe an extarnel tank could deform while beeng drained until it is a simple metal plate and does not slow the plane any more.

3) The plane may even be able to sustain more damage - imagine how the wing or other parts of the plane will restore their normal form after a rocket hit

4) The jump from a conventional turbojet to a ramjet will just require inly a deformation of the blades of the compressor and the turbine so they don't stay in the way of the airflow...........I can think of hundrets of applications.

If you ask me we need that technology as soon as possible
I just can't wait to see it in mass production

PS: thanks for the info I was really beginning to ask myself if those projects haven't been scraped

posted on Mar, 27 2004 @ 05:39 PM
I think that this is an awesome project... continuing to look into it. More interesting all the time... I'll be posting some more links here soon.

Looking forward to the actually commensing this project and making it a reality not just a computer model.

posted on Mar, 27 2004 @ 06:19 PM
As promised here are some more links:

Seems Lockheed is going to be working on this project... to start with. More are sure to follow.

This program will benefit all three partners: the U.S. Air Force, a major aerospace company and CRG. The program will develop the technology necessary to construct deployable morphing missiles, aircraft, and other innovative adaptive structure concepts critical to the Air Force in the future. This technology will also increase the aerospace companys ability to extend the system goals for multiple DoD applications in the near and far term. In addition to enhancing their system platform capabilities, this development will improve performance for other current or future missile applications. Finally, the development of this technology from prototype to integration and manufacturing will demonstrate the capabilities CRG offers as a research and development partner and materials innovator.

It seems the X-46 and X-45 will be taking the role of the first morphing plane... I believe it was produced by Boeing. Northrop seems to be making a model as well... the X-47, all UCAV's.

Picture Links:

Here's a link to some info on the X-45:

Unfortunately... my computer is acting up and the search engine is running slow. I'll post more when my computer is back up to speed.

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