Fixed Wing Control Surfaces

FlexSys has developed variable geometry trailing edge structures for fixed-wing aircraft. Since 2001, FlexSys has designed, built and tested four such structures, including three wind tunnel models, one structural, and one flight test specimen.

Technology Highlights

  • Estimated fuel savings
    • Retrofit fuel consumption improvement of about 3.5%
    • Clean-sheet build fuel consumption improvement up to 12%
  • Up to 40% airframe noise reduction
  • Technology Readiness Level (TLR) - 5.5
  • High reliability (no moving parts in the shape morphing mechanism)
  • Weight savings - lighter than conventional flaps
  • Less power required to operate than a conventional flap
  • Improvement in control authority - continuously adjustable
  • Designed with aerospace-grade materials and actuators
 
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FlexSys Flap Demo Video

THE VIDEO DEMONSTRATES FLEXFOIL™ VARIABLE GEOMETRY TRAILING EDGE ARTICLE SUPPORTING 135 LBS. OF LOAD (THREE 5-GALLON WATER BOTTLES) AT THE TIP WHILE PROVIDING +/- 10 DEGREES CAMBER AND SPAN-WISE TWIST. THE TRAILING EDGE CONFORMAL CONTROL SURFACE,DRIVEN BY ACTUATORS WEIGHING LESS THAN 3 LBS., IS CAPABLE OF GENERATING 500 LBS. OF LIFT.

 

Mojave Flight Test Video

The FlexFoil™ technology was first flight tested in 2006, beneath Scaled Composites' White Knight aircraft. The variable geometry trailing edge on the test article provided +/- 10 degrees camber change and span-wise twist allowing Coefficient of Lift to vary from 0.1 to 1.1 without any drag penalty.


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Fixed Wing Aircraft Fact Sheets

Retrofit (PDF)
Testing (PDF)
Flight Testing (PDF)