Washington: NASA has recently successfully tested revolutionary shape changing aircraft flap for the first time, it has been reported.
NASA's green aviation project is one step closer to developing technology that could make future airliners quieter and more fuel-efficient with the successful flight test of a wing surface that can change shape in flight.
Researchers replaced an airplane's conventional aluminum flaps with advanced, shape-changing assemblies that form seamless bendable and twistable surfaces.
For taxi testing on Oct. 31, 2014 at NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, in California, the Adaptive Compliant Trailing Edge (ACTE) flap was extended to 20 degrees deflection.
Flight results would validate whether the seamless design with its advanced lightweight materials could reduce wing structural weight, improve fuel economy and efficiency, and reduce environmental impacts.
FlexFoil's inventor, FlexSys founder and Chief Executive Officer Sridhar Kota hopes testing with the modified Gulfstream III would confirm the design's flight worthiness and open doors to future applications and commercialization.
Fay Collier, ERA project manager at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, said that This flight test was one of the NASA Environmentally Responsible Aviation (ERA) Project's eight large-scale integrated technology demonstrations to show design improvements in drag, weight, noise, emission and fuel reductions.