Aeroelastic wing technology takes off

Researchers in Germany ran trial flights with aircrafts fitted with Aeroelastic wings which are wider and lighter. The researchers, from the Technological University of Munich (TUM) and the German Aerospace Centre, DLR, believe that these type of wings could make flights much more fuel efficient subsequently reducing emissions.

A European scheme, FLEXOP (flutter-free flight envelope expansion for economical performance improvement) aims to develop wider and lighter wings which are not affected by flight flutter.

Flutter is the up and down movement from tips of the wings relative to the aircraft fuselage in flight, and it is caused by aerodynamic drag and wind gusts. It reduces the fuel efficiency of aircraft. Although lighter wings would be more fuel efficient, they’d also be more susceptible to flutter, so one solution would be aeroelastic wings, which are capable of more movement along wind during flight than traditional wings.

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