Shape-Morphing Aircraft Wing Technology Tested at Dryden Flight Research Center
Flexsys, Inc. is replacing the trailing edge flaps of a Gulfstream GIII business jet with 14-foot FlexFoil™ variable geometry control surfaces together with 24-inch transition sections at each end. NASA, in partnership with the U.S. Air Force Research Lab, scheduled several flight tests in July 2014 at the Dryden Flight Research Center. In retrofit applications, the FlexFoil™ technology can cut fuel consumption by 4-8% and up to to 12% or more in clean-sheet builds. Other benefits of the technology include significant noise reduction (up to 40% during landing) and lowered maintenance costs due to reduced wing loads. FlexFoil™ uses conventional materials and actuators and has no moving parts in the shape-adapting mechanism.