Flight Testing of Morphing Wing Technology Concluded

Air Force Research Lab and NASA researchers completed a six-month program of flight testing morphing wing technology on a Gulfstream III jet at Edwards AFB, Calif., according to a release. “The purpose of these tests was to see if flexible trailing-edge wing flaps could improve aerodynamic efficiency and reduce the noise generated during takeoffs and landings,” said NASA’s Fay Collier. The FlexFoil technology exceeded expectations, paving the way for its incorporation by the military and commercial aviation industries, states the May 9 release. “These flights cap 17 years of technology maturation,” said Pete Flick, AFRL’s program manager. The tests took place under the Adaptive Compliant Trailing Edge program. The final flight test took place on April 22; the first of the 22 flights occurred on Nov. 6, 2014. FlexSys Inc., of Ann Arbor, Mich., developed the FlexFoil technology.