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Morphing Aircraft

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posted on Aug, 4 2004 @ 01:08 AM
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The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (D.A.R.P.A) is investigating the use of smart materials to create shape-changing, multi-mission aircraft and bring about a leap in low-observable design.

The long-term vision is ambitious. "Can we take a 40-ft.-wingspan reconnaissance vehicle and actually physically change its shape to act more like a small delta wing to go and be able to do some attacks?" posed Darpa's program manager Ephrahim Garcia. The focus will be on technologies for unmanned aircraft.

In the near-term, Darpa will concentrate on wing technology

Eventually, Darpa hopes to build a flight prototype that could include shape-changing structures beyond the wing. For instance, Garcia points out that engine inlets could be modified to optimize air flow at different speeds. Or the fuselage could contract as fuel reserves are depleted. The wing prototypes developed during this phase could be flight tested on existing aircraft or by using cheap prototypes that may feature other morphing capabilities.

Different types of material are being eyed. Among them are shape memory alloys, whichcan be altered and then, through thermoelectric inputs, returned to their original form. Another material is piezoelectrics, which contract or expand based on the application of electric current.

I think the applications for a aircraft like this are quite amazing. You could have the wings on a plane change shape so that it can turn faster. Then it could turn into a shape to allow for the best top speed. A shape for landing and taking off.

If you have seen the movie "The Flight of the Navigator" You have a good ideal what this technology can be like in the future.

I was also wondering if anyone thinks this sounds alot like the strange material that was reported by people at Roswell. These claims came out long before anything like this was thought to be possible.


www.aviationnow.com...

www.personal.psu.edu...



E_T

posted on Aug, 4 2004 @ 04:28 PM
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Pretty close to topic:
Active Aerolastic Wing
www.dfrc.nasa.gov...
www.dfrc.nasa.gov... (nice roll speed:roll



posted on Aug, 4 2004 @ 08:00 PM
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Heh, first thing that came to mind was the spacecraft in Flight of the Navigator. That was quite cool.



posted on Aug, 4 2004 @ 08:29 PM
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That was what I was thinking about too. I loved that ship in that movie the way it would change shape if it was moving real fast. Turning into more of a bullet shape when it was cruising fast and more of a Lemon shape when it was just staying in one space.



posted on Aug, 4 2004 @ 08:35 PM
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Heres a link to picture of the craft we are talking about. For the people that never saw Flight of the Navigator and have no clue what im talking about

www.pcs.ne.jp...



posted on Aug, 6 2004 @ 02:33 PM
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the air force is supoosedly making up plans to build a plane codenamed the project transformer hellcat which is a plane whch can be a bomber and a quick attack/ hit and run aircraft it would be really hard to do if u think about it



posted on Aug, 6 2004 @ 02:46 PM
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Interesting consept, morphing aircrafts.
Wouldnt it be easier to poison the enemy with '___'?



posted on Aug, 6 2004 @ 03:34 PM
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thta would be easier and the enemies would probly like it more



posted on Aug, 6 2004 @ 03:36 PM
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If you have seen the movie "The Flight of the Navigator" You have a good ideal what this technology can be like in the future.


Was my first thought too, hehe...

"COMPLIANCE!"



posted on Aug, 6 2004 @ 09:17 PM
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That was such and awesome movie. "I can travel at any speed," hehe. I belive a technology such as that will have to involve nanotechnology, a concept feared by some engineers except Eric Drexler. Look at his book Engines of Creation.



posted on Aug, 7 2004 @ 01:13 PM
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All they have to do is move the tail and wings in different positions kind of like the swept back wings of today just a lot more advanced. If you do that its easy to change speed and other characteristics.



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