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Wings

FlexSys' variable geometry airfoil, the FlexFoil

If there's one thing that needs to be aerodynamic, it's an airplane wing. Conventional wing designs however, suffer from a glaring weakness in this respect: the joint where the main wing meets the trailing flaps. Michigan-based FlexSys has developed a way to optimize wing aerodynamics with FlexFoil, a seamless variable geometry airfoil system that could deliver fuel savings of up to 12 percent.  Read More

Boeing has launched its new 777X, 777-8X and 777-9X aircraft

Boeing has launched its newest airliner, the 777X, at the 2013 Dubai Airshow. The aircraft is designed with folding wing-tips that will increase wingspan and, as a result, fuel efficiency without limiting access at airports.  Read More

The current wing is an inflateable wing specially built by a kitesurfing manufacturer for ...

The University of Delft has a program devoted to kite-based generation systems, with 20 years of research and development under their belt since Wubbo Ockels, the first Dutch astronaut established it. Now, members of the team are exploring practical niches where the compromises of kite-based power might pay off. One has just completed a trip through Kenya, Tanzania and Senegal discussing opportunities for rural African kite generation with governmental agencies, universities and companies in the renewables space.  Read More

The morphing leading edge concept would replace traditional leading edge slats on fixed wi...

Passengers looking out the window of a passenger plane will likely have noticed slats on the leading edge of the wing, along with the flaps on the trailing edge of the wing, being extended during takeoff and landing. These leading edge slats provide the lift necessary at low speeds, with the gap between the wing and the slats directing air from the underside of the wing to the top. Unfortunately, this gap also generates a lot of noise. A team of researchers has now developed a morphing leading edge that eliminates the gap and reduces noise and drag during landing.  Read More

The pint-sized, lightweight Nano Hummingbird

AeroVironment, the California-based company behind the largest, highest and longest flying unmanned aircraft system (UAS), the Global Observer, has now achieved a remarkable technical milestone with a much smaller aircraft. With its "Nano Hummingbird" the company has for the first time achieved controlled precision hovering and fast-forward flight of a two-wing, flapping wing aircraft that carries its own energy source and relies only on its flapping wings for propulsion and control.  Read More

The DEMON UAV, that achieved flapless flight in Cumbria

An unmanned aerial vehicle named DEMON made history last month when it demonstrated “flapless flight” at an airfield in Cumbria, England. The demonstrator aircraft’s ailerons/elevators were locked off, allowing it to maneuver using nothing but a series of forced-air jets along the trailing edges of its wings. In the future, such technology could benefit military or commercial aircraft because of fewer moving parts, less maintenance and a stealthier profile.  Read More

Yves 'Jetman' Rossy flies in formation with the Breitling Wingwalkers

We last checked in with Jetman Yves Rossy late last year when his attempt to complete the first intercontinental jetpack flight from Morocco to Spain unfortunately fell short. However, that setback hasn’t deterred Rossy, who has spent the time since developing and testing a fast extracting pyrotechnic parachute and a lighter and more powerful jet-propelled wing. The new “delta wing” is designed to allow take-off from the ground and provide more freedom to realize aerobatic maneuvers, which no doubt came in handy on his latest airborne undertaking – performing some precision formation flying alongside the Breitling Wingwalkers.  Read More

A still from the just-released video of the ornithopter in action

Last year, we brought you the story of tech company AeroVironment’s life-size artificial hummingbird, that flies solely by flapping its wings. Now, a group of Japanese researchers has successfully built and flown a flapping-wing-powered swallowtail butterfly. Besides looking incredibly cool, the life-size “ornithopter” has also proven a principle that could have big implications in the field of aerodynamics.  Read More

The Gryphon winged suit has a 5:1 glide ratio, electronic guidance system and heads-up dis...

Are you were waiting for a good reason to join the armed forces? Perhaps you are just a kid who always dreamed of flying and never grew up, or maybe you are thinking of challenging Yves (Jetman) Rossy in the human winged flight game? This could be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for. Get ready to duck … the Gryphon Next Generation Parachute System could be headed your way. Although engine-less, the Gryphon still has an electronic guidance system and heads-up display navigation and all equipment is cleverly tucked away making for better “stealth” flights.  Read More

Locusts have helped scientists unlock the secrets of insect flight (Photo: Niv Singer)

It seems that locusts, the bane of farmers the world over, have served some purpose after all. With the aid of a wind tunnel and a high-speed digital video camera, scientists have captured the changes in the shape of the locust's wings during flight and created, for the first time, a computer model that recreates the airflow and thrust generated by their complex flapping movement. Modeling the aerodynamic secrets brings us a step closer to creating miniature robot flyers with the maneuverability and energy efficiency of an insect - such micro-aircraft would likely have huge benefits for search and rescue, military activities and inspecting hazardous environments.  Read More

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