NASA ‘s New Wing Approach for Aircraft
The American National Aeronautics and Space Agency is preparing to make aviation more efficient with collapsible wings designed for NASA aircraft.
NASA experts have been working on a project under the title of “Spanwise Adaptive Wing” for a long time, focusing on folding aircraft wings. The project includes experts from Armstrong flight Research Centre, Glenn Research Centre, Langley Research Centre, Boeing Research & Technology, and Area-I Inc companies.
The idea of folding airplane Wings is actually a bit old. The first step for this was for the North American XB-70 Valkyrie, which was developed in the 1960s. But the study wasn’t enough.
With the newly developed system, the wings are installed on memory alloy instead of “heavy, slow and energy consuming” hydraulic systems. Thanks to this thermal-induced memory alloy, the end of the wing system can be folded up to 70 degrees in the air.
According to NASA, pilots can use these wings to align their planes with the conditions they face. This adjustment will provide a great aerodynamic return.
Foldable wings are suitable for aircraft that are fast or slow from sound. With this system, the flight can be made smoother. Fuel consumption is also reduced with this system.
Moreover, this system is being tested not only for military aircraft, but also for regular passenger aircraft.
This system, which has been tried on a plane with small dimensions and successfully fulfils its mission, also provides a weight advantage of up to 80 percent for hydraulic systems.
Although a clear date is not given for large aircrafts, the ‘Spanwise Adaptive wing’ project has promised a great future.