NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Morphing-wing plane. Engineers developing future aircraft designs are hoping to improve flight performances by mimicking the peregine falcon (biomimetics). By 2030, NASA researchers foresee a machine that will use sensors to monitor pressure variations over the whole surface of its wings. The feedback response will lead to the wing shape changing to an optimal psoition. So, for high- speed flight, the wings would sweep back to reduce drag. For low-speed flight, the wings would unsweep, and grow in thickness and span. For landings (shown here), the wingtips would split to reduce tip vortices and the wings lengthen to allow for a shorter landing.
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