posted on Aug, 4 2004 @ 01:08 AM
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
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
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.