Humankind has made leaps and bounds in aviation since the Wright brothers first took flight. While the makes and models have changed and improved over decades, one consistent aspect has been the straightforward, unbending structure of the wing.
Now, researchers at NASA and MIT are looking to change that.
Instead of a single structure, the pair of research teams designed a wing made of individual, identical triangle structures, bonded together through a lattice-like assembly, allowing for more efficient repairs.
In addition to speeding up maintenance, the assembly would also allow the wings to change their shape mid-flight, allowing further accuracy and a smoother flight.
Though it’s still in the early stages, the design is already generating some buzz.
Plot twist: each piece is a drone itself, and they can recombine to anything
— Juris Perkons (@Thunder_Owl) April 3, 2019
People still have questions.
— Ty Vaughan (@exidev) April 2, 2019
So how many Gs can it withstand and what’s the maximum angle can the wings bend? Is that carbon fiber? Graphene fiber? An amalgamation of both?
— Michael (@Michael12239367) April 2, 2019
I have seen these fly. They are otherworldly. Menacing looking, like a black cut out in the sky. Do you have some video of it flying? It’s a must see.
— spaceship earth crew (@patravasio) April 8, 2019
One things for sure: this model is ready to soar.