Morphing Wing for Lighter Weight, More Agile Aircraft
When the Wright Brothers first flew over 100 years ago, they used a twisting wing to stabilize their plane. As aircraft design became more heavy duty, that system became impossible and rigid wings controlled by flaps have been the mainstay for modern aviation. University of Michigan aerospace engineers are revisiting the idea of the morphing wing using a multifunctional system of composite lightweight materials and integrated actuators. These morphing wings are still in the developing stages but may open the doors to lighter weight aircraft that are more agile than traditional airplanes.