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Active Wing-Shaping Flight Control for Drag Reduction Cited in Aviation Week Magazine

Active wing-shaping flight control technology for next-generation aircraft, currently being developed by the Intelligent Systems Division in collaboration with The Boeing Company in St. Louis, MO, and Seal Beach, CA, has been cited in the magazine, Aviation Week and Space Technology. The article is entitled, “NASA’s Push Toward Carbon-Neutral Airliners,” and was published on February 7th.

The article cited the joint effort between NASA and Boeing to develop a variable-camber continuous-trailing edge flap device for active wing-shaping control. The flap system, which combines several movable sections connected by shape memory alloy rods, is aimed at reducing drag with minimal impact on weight. The new flap system is designed to be deployed during cruise to continuously shape aircraft wings in flight in order to reduce cruise drag that translates into reduced fuel burn. You can read the full article here.

BACKGROUND: Active wing-shaping control is an element of a research project entitled, “Elastically Shaped Aircraft Concept” that is being funded by NASA’s ARMD Subsonic Fixed Wing Project in collaboration with The Boeing Company. The project leverages new concepts developed previously by a NASA Innovation Fund project entitled, “Elastically Shaped Future Air Vehicle Concept” that was awarded by NASA’s Innovative Partnerships Program through a competitive selection in 2010. The project addresses one of the aviation challenges of reducing fuel burn for current and next-generation aircraft by developing new concepts of active wing-shaping flight control and the variable-camber-continuous-trailing edge flap device for drag reduction.

NASA PROGRAM FUNDING: ARMD Subsonic Fixed Wing Project

ARC/TI TEAM: Diana Acosta (ARC/TI), Michael Aftosmis (ARC/TNA), Susan Frost (ARC/TI), Corey Ippolito (ARC/TI), Abraham Ishihara (SGT Inc.), Nhan Nguyen (ARC/TI), Kevin Reynolds (ARC/TI), Sean Swei (ARC/RE), Joe Totah (ARC/TI), and Khanh Trinh (SGT Inc.)

COLLABORATORS: John Dyman (Boeing Research & Technology, Seal Beach), Brian Foist (Boeing Research & Technology, Seal Beach), Charles Morris (Boeing Research & Technology, St. Louis), Robert Scott (NASA LaRC), Jim Sheehan (Boeing Research & Technology, St. Louis), and Jim Urnes Sr. (Boeing Research & Technology, St. Louis)

Contact: Nhan Nguyen

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