Tuesday, April 27, 2004
Morphing Plane Wings for Efficient Flights
Airplanes, whether manned or unmanned, need to travel at various speeds. For example, a surveillance plane needs to fly fast to reach its destination point. Then, it needs to reduce its speed to achieve its surveillance mission. But with its fixed wings, it doesn't offer the same level of efficiency during these two phases. That's why Penn State engineers have devised airplane wings that change shape like a bird and have scales like a fish.
Right now, the team has only built a tabletop model. So it will be a long time before you catch a plane and watch the wings disappear by looking through the window. This overview contains more details and references, including a couple of images describing the work done so far.
|:: posted by Roland Piquepaille, 5:02 AM