After several years of technology development and full-scale flight testing, the engineers at FlexSys Inc. in Ann Arbor have crafted a new FlexFoil™ morphing technology demonstrator wing that was unveiled at the 2016 National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) convention in Orlando, FL. The effort is in support of their new joint venture with Aviation Partners Inc., Aviation Partners FlexSys (APF) and demonstrates that the technology is ready for application-specific design for commercial and military use.
Aviation Partners Inc. provided the team at FlexSys a wing that was custom-made to be retrofitted with FlexFoil™ technology. The resulting demonstrator wing has 4 active control surfaces that enable high-lift, roll-control, load alleviation, and leading edge droop and de-icing. It highlights the smooth camber (curvature) change possible with the FlexFoil™ technology. Each of the 4 surfaces provide performance benefits, whether it be through drag reduction, weight reduction, load control, or improved lift distribution.
“The demonstrator shows the technology capability, such that APF and partnering manufacturers can determine which FlexFoil™ surface to design for a particular aircraft platform” explains Greg Ervin the FlexSys Program Manager. The APF joint venture is planning to have the first commercial aircraft retrofit through Critical Design Review in 12-18 months.