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May 30, 2019

NASA and MIT Debut Shape-Shifting Airplane Wing

Posted by in categories: materials, transportation

A team from NASA and MIT has created a new type of airplane wing — and it could make air travel far more efficient.

In a paper published in the journal Smart Materials and Structures on Monday, the researchers describe how they built an airplane wing from hundreds of identical, lightweight cube-like structures, all bolted together and then covered with a thin polymer material.

The design allows the wing to change shape automatically, adjusting itself to whatever configuration is optimal for the current phase of flight — with one configuration for take-off, for example, and another for landing.

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