Morphing Wings soon on the market – Presented at the 2016 National Business Aviation Association show (NBAA) the first demostretor of wing-morphing applicaion. The project is under developing by Aviation Partners Inc. (API) and FlexSys and it could be the first commercial morphing wing. This innovation has wide implications for performance-boosting retrofits of existing business jets and clean sheet designs. This technical solution can change in flight to boost performance over a wide range of angles of attack, providing integrated roll control, high lift, cruise optimization, and even deicing functions. See below a video of morphing wing.
These wings are made by composite structure that eliminates the mechanical complexity, and incorporate a one-piece, strong and flexible, in which every section of the structure contributes equally to the shape-morphing while all components share the loads. Each section therefore takes only a small elastic strain with low stress, and the structure can undergo large deformations with low maintenance and high-fatigue life. As per Joe Clark, API founder and CEO, the gapless structure can reduce noise.
NASA Gulfstream 3 flight test will use this tenology solution, to test the ability of the structure to withstand high dynamic pressures and aerodynamic loads up to 11,500 lb. per flap segment at high deflection angles, and to verify the haw much drag can be saved (as per estimation shoud be from 2% for flap retrofits, to 12% for all-new design).
FlexSys is currently developing adaptive compliant flap tabs for tests on a U.S. Air Force KC-135 tanker, to evaluate fuel savings and load alleviation. API states that it is close for the design review and first retrofit application, and Dassault seems already interested to apply this solution for their business jet in the future.