Morphing wings UAV
NASA has identified Morphing Wings as a key technology in developing aircraft which are more efficient, manoeuvrable and easier to fly.
The Morphing Wings UAV project has used experimental and numerical methods to analyse the performance of a 1303 UCAV (Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle) with morphing wing capability.
In this project, a 10:1 scale model of the UCAV was manufactured with a mechanism allowing 3D-printed wing tips to be interchanged. Using this model, nine different sets of wings with various degrees of wing twist were developed and tested in the University of Adelaide’s wind tunnel.
The data from these tests was complemented with numerical data from computational fluid dynamics simulations conducted on analogous cases. Both methods of testing were validated with published results, and show that morphing wing technology can produce meaningful positive change to the flight characteristics of the 1303 UCAV.
Securing our future
Justin Fang Jing Lam