- Known as Adaptive Compliant Trailing Edge (ACTE) flight control surfaces, they replace a plane's conventional, rigid flaps with a flexible composite material. Not only are they designed to significantly reduce an aircraft's weight, these flaps could save the industry millions of dollars annually in fuel savings.
- In tests, the wing's curve remained set anywhere from -2 to 30 degrees but it can be adjusted as needed, even in midflight. Eventually, flexible wings can make for lighter, more fuel-efficient planes as well as quieter takeoffs and landings.
- This is the first of eight large-scale integrated technology demonstrations ERA is finishing up this year that are designed to reduce the impact of aviation on the environment.
NASA's Shape-Shifting Plane Wings Pass Initial Flight Tests
4. 29. 15 by Mark Parker