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News: MIT and NASA engineers jointly present a totally new kind of wing... and it's made up of thousands of small pieces!!!

Image credit: SlashGear
Recently the MIT's engineers had a collaboration with engineers of NASA, to invent a uniquely designed airplane wing which is synthesized of hundreds of tiny pieces.

This astonishing creation has an ability to change its shape and by doing so it helps to control the aircraft better than any typical solid wing.


This newcomer will have to pass from NASA's wind tunnel for testing purpose and its described in the journal as a "SMART MATERIAL AND STRUCTURE".

This newcomer will replace the separate movable structures like ailerons(wings) whose purpose is to control the roll & pitch of the plane.

It will also deform the needed part of the wing by the help of stiff and flexible components in the structure itself.

Those lightweight lattice framework of tiny assemblies is coated with another layer of the same framework's polymer material (polyethylene resin's 3D mould and its density 5.6 kg/meter cube).

Every aircraft need some different optimal shape at different stages of flight which is not satisfied by the conventional wings, so this leads to the efficiency loss. 

This new arrival of flexible shape-shifting wings can change itself to have an optimal shape during every stage of flight to retain the best efficiency.


Image credit: Phys

The deformation of the wings can be possible with the motor and cable processes but here is something new that during different stages the system can automatically adjust the wing in aerodynamic loading conditions.

When there are some stresses on the wings, than to handle them its design is carried out with each and every minute accuracy and precision by giving it versatile flexibility or stiffness to handle the same(stresses).

The story of  the wing's coming into existence started a few years ago, engineers at MIT & NASA presented the fundamental principles by inventing a wing having a length of one meter' which can be fitted to R-C model aircraft. 

Later on, it was created with a large size of about five times the initial one, which can be fitted with the real one-seater aircraft and can easily be manufactured too.

The first version of it is hand-synthesized and decent work is going on with robotics AI to give shape to wings automatically.


Image credit: ExtremeTech

The making team includes researchers from Cornell University, the University of California at Santa Cruz, NASA Langley Research Center, The Kaunas University of Technology in Lithuania, and Qualified Technical Services Inc, in Moffett Field, California. This work was supported by NASA ARMD Convergent Aeronautics Solutions Program (MADCAT Project), and the MIT Center for Bits and Atoms.

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