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NASA and Boeing study flexible wing control

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posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 04:07 PM
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Ok, this is cool as hell. Boeing and NASA are studying the Variable Camber Continuous Trailing Edge Flap (VCCTEF) system. This system would have forty two (ha!) flap sections on the back of the outboard section of wing, that could change their shape during different aspects of flight. High lift for take off and landing, low drag for cruise. They would also have shape memory alloy actuators which would act as ailerons during flight.

They are planning a test later this year in a wind tunnel, using a 6 foot model. The planned entry of this design would be after 2025, and NASA is aiming at a structural weight savings of 25%, with aspect ratio increases of 30-40% for cantilever wings.


When we look out of the window as our aircraft comes in to land, we are used to seeing flaps and slats deploy, and slots open, as the wing reconfigures to increase lift and reduce landing speed. But, in the cruise, not much happens to the wing except small movements by individual control surfaces as the aircraft maneuvers or responds to turbulence.

Now Boeing and NASA are working on the Variable Camber Continuous Trailing Edge Flap (VCCTEF) system (graphic above), which would smoothly change the wing’s shape continuously throughout the flight. By continuously varying camber, the VCCTEF would provide efficient high lift for takeoff and landing and reduced cruise drag through active control of the twist of a flexible wing.

Source




posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 04:13 PM
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It's said that the government/ military are 40 years ahead of technology. Which would explain most of the UFO sightings. And this reminds me of some of the "shape-shifting" you see in some of the UFO videos. Not particularly the wings, I mean it just reminds me of "shape-shifting".



posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 04:18 PM
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reply to post by Mugen
 


Back in the 1980s they flew an F-111A with a "morphing wing" design that would change from high lift to low drag during flight. It was called the Mission Adaptive Wing or MAW.


In a early 1980s joint NASA/US Air Force program called Advanced Fighter Technology Integration (AFTI), the supercritical wing on a F-111A aircraft was replaced with a wing built by Boeing Aircraft Company System called a "Mission Adaptive Wing" (MAW). This wing had an internal mechanism to flex the outer wing skin and produce a high camber section for subsonic speeds, a supercritical section for transonic speeds, and symmetrical section for supersonic speeds. The surface irregularities from leading edge slates was eliminated and trailing edge flap effects reduced. The use of flexible wing skins to produce a smooth upper surface brought this wing a little closer in concept to that of a bird. A digital flight control system provided automatic changes to the wing geometry. The system had four automatic control modes: (1) Manoeuvre Camber Control - adjusting camber shape for peak aerodynamic efficiency; (2) Cruise Camber Control - for maximum speed at any altitude and power setting; (3) Manoeuvre Load Control - providing the highest possible aircraft load factor (4) Manoeuvre Enhancement Alleviation - in part attempting to reduce the effects of gusts on airplane ride. The AFTI/F-111 MAW system had 59 flights from 1985 through 1988. The flight test data showed a drag reduction of around 7 percent at the wing design cruise point to over 20 percent at an off-design condition. The four automatic modes were tested in flight with satisfactory results.

wiki.scramble.nl...-111_AFTI.2FMAW

Something that reduced drag by up to 20% just went away and was never flown again? Yeah right. Pull the other one.



posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 04:20 PM
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More moving parts, means more points of failure.



posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 04:28 PM
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reply to post by inivux
 


Actually, in the long term, fewer moving parts. You're losing the flaps on the entire outboard section of wing. You're replacing them with actuators, and flexible skin. So you lose the flap motors, flap tracks, jack screws, all that goes away. So it's quite a weight savings among other things.



posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 04:44 PM
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Originally posted by Zaphod58
reply to post by inivux
 


Actually, in the long term, fewer moving parts. You're losing the flaps on the entire outboard section of wing. You're replacing them with actuators, and flexible skin. So you lose the flap motors, flap tracks, jack screws, all that goes away. So it's quite a weight savings among other things.


It does have 14 'trip-flap' sections, each of which has a hinge. Although this is still considerably less mechanical means.

I've always wondered what advantages may be offered by using nickle titanium(nitinol), and ferrofluids when designing flexible wings. I do however like this design as well!

Interesting find, S&F's



posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 04:47 PM
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reply to post by retirednature
 


Right, but even with that, you lose most of the flap mechanism. Which is going to save a lot of weight on the wing. You're keeping the inboard flaps, but losing the outboard flaps and ailerons.

I've heard rumors that the military kept developing the MAW years after the F-111 program ended, and I suspect Boeing had something to do with it. Which would explain how they could develop this and put it into play within a little more than a decade.



posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 04:56 PM
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posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 05:00 PM
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morphing wing....you know I remember hearing about the some time ago. The amazing thing to me is that in 30 years they having not done much of nothing with it. I hate how so many of these cool ideas just never seem to quite make it go anywhere. We should be 30 years into this tech.



posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 05:04 PM
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reply to post by Tbrooks76
 


The civilian side hasn't gone anywhere. That doesn't mean the military hasn't been developing it all this time. Like I said I've heard rumors about rumors of things. Nothing that I can confirm, so I won't post it. But it wouldn't surprise me if Boeing has something much more advanced that the military is using, considering that the MAW first flew in 1985, and was developed by Boeing. I have a hard time believing that they just threw it away after they stopped the program, and didn't do anything to develop it further.
edit on 1/23/2013 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 05:07 PM
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This is part of what I was u2u'ing you about the other day.

Now, imagine it with diamond microemitters every square inch too. Ahh.



posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 05:10 PM
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Throw in Phantom Works MAW demonstrator (F18 IIRC) from 2004, they have had a lot of time, and experience, staring at this entire field for a very long time.

Nice to see it back into the light of day though.
edit on 23-1-2013 by Astr0 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 05:18 PM
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Early aircraft used wing warping for flight controls as late as about 1915.....seeking to emulate how birds fly.

then it all got a bit hard!


so the concept isn't new - but now technology allows it at 600mph rather than only working at less than 60mph!


And this does nothing at all to "explain" UFO's - the wings will still look like wings - they will bend fore-aft to change their camber rather than using "expansion" systems such as flaps and slats.



posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 05:20 PM
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reply to post by Bedlam
 


That was the first thing that popped into my head. The timing is interesting to say the least.



posted on Jan, 24 2013 @ 02:47 PM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


Humm ongoing development....Maybe, maybe not. I just help but think about nasa and how many ideas they have sunk money into only to shelf them. I wouldn't dough 30 years ago they made a morphing wing, only to say it’s too expensive. Then 30 years later someone coming back and saying, hey lets see if we can do it cheaper now days.
edit on 24-1-2013 by Tbrooks76 because: type-o



posted on Jan, 24 2013 @ 02:49 PM
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reply to post by Tbrooks76
 


I guarantee that it's cheaper now. One of the things that was mentioned for a sixth generation fighter was a morphing skin. I guarantee you that they have been developing it over the last 30 years and have used it on at least one black project, if not more.

Now what I'm interested in is what happened to the neural net that NASA developed and tested on an F-15. Now THAT had a ton of interesting potential.



posted on Jan, 24 2013 @ 03:15 PM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
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that sounds scary, reminds me of this...
www.theinquirer.net...



posted on Jan, 24 2013 @ 03:38 PM
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reply to post by Tbrooks76
 


That has since been revised. The computer worked as advertised, the flight crew screwed the pooch, bought it dinner, and then screwed it again. They failed to recognize the logic change, failed to keep the aircraft at the proper angle of attack, or power settings, and eventually stalled it and it fell out of the sky.

Airbus had developed a procedure for if the pitot tubes freeze up, because it's happened before on other aircraft. Every one of them landed safely, until this flight. When the computer reported the plane had descended the copilot, who was flying while the captain was on a break, pulled back on the stick. The stall warning went off, but he kept the nose up. Eventually the nose dropped and the warning went out. For some reason he then pulled back again. The stall warning went off 75 times, but he kept the nose up. He then went to full power, thinking he was in a Take off/Go Around situation. The aircraft climbed to 38,000 feet, which was the highest it could climb, and stalled. It remained in a nose high vertical descent, and impacted wings level.






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