Shape-changing wings could help futuristic blended-wing aircraft adapt their lift-to-drag ratio as conditions change during flight. In the meantime, flexible control surfaces will be tested on modern commercial planes in the next three years.Read More
Designs with wings made of composite materials or wings that morph during flight could increase efficiency up to 10%. - Aerospace Manufacturing and Design Magazine compiles research by Joaquim Martins and presented at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) SciTech ForumRead More
Oct. 12, 2017 NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center - The experimental Adaptive Compliant Trailing Edge flap on NASA’s modified G-III Aerodynamic Research Test Bed aircraft is expected to significantly reduce aircraft noise during takeoff and landingRead More
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.Read More
FlexSys Founder and CEO, Sridhar Kota, recieves the 2017 DIstinguished University Innovator Award from the University of Michigan for the developemnet and commercialization of shape adaptive aircraft wings.Read More
The October/November 2016 issue Professional BoatBuilder magazine featured FlexSys technology in an article describing the ways that new technologies in aviation can be used in the boatbuilding industry. In particular, the author notes that the wing morphing technology used in aerospace applications can be applied to trim tab planes on boat hulls, which can control attitude of the hull with less sacrifice in drag than conventional trim tabs.Read More
Winner: FlexSys Inc. (USA)
Name of Product or Process: Compliant design technology and software for product designers of the future
Description: By using compliant design expertise and methods, FlexSys was able to design a single-piece wiper arm and blade that costs less and both outlasts and outperforms traditional metal assemblies. A composite thermoplastic of 30%-glass-filled PBT was determined to have the required properties and characteristics to meet the demands and provide the necessary strength/stiffness ratio. The single-piece moulded design eliminates 11 parts along with the associated assembly, weighs half as much, and costs only 1/3 as much as the legacy design.Read More
Aviation Partner's Joe Clark was honored by the National Business Aviation Association with the 2015 Meritorious Aviation Service Award for his contributions to Aviation. The award was presented at the 2015 NBAA Conference on November 17 in Las Vegas, NV where FlexSys' joint venture with Aviation Partners was also announced.Read More
Seattle, Washington based Aviation Partners, Inc. and FlexSys, Inc. of Ann Arbor, Michigan are forming a JV. The new company, Aviation Partners FlexSys (APF), is being founded to commercialize the patented ‘wing morphing’ technology which FlexSys, Inc. has been working on since its formation in 2000. FlexSys’ FlexFoil™ variable geometry control surface mechanisms were recently test flown on a Gulfstream business jet.Read More
FlexSys has been honored with a Tibbetts SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) Award for Companies for its work with the US Small Business Association to get FlexSys technology in the air.Read More
The FlexSys/USAF/NASA Active Compliant Trailing Edge (ACTE) project has been receiving a lot of press lately. We have compiled some of our favorites that best summarize the project.
Professional Pilot Magazine, billed as the magazine for aviation professionals, has one of the most comprehensive features. Beyond explaining the ACTE project, Professional Pilot examines the FlexSys technology behind it.
Like Wilbur Wright and others, FlexSys Founder & CEO Dr Sridhar Kota, a mechanical engineer and inventor of FlexFoil, has long had an appreciation for nature. According to Dr. Kota, "Nature is filled with strong, elegant, shape-shifting mechanisms." In nature, examples of designs that are flexible and yet strong include the wings of birds, the trunk of an elephant or tree branches. By contrast, in human technology most artifacts that are strong are also rigid and stiff with multiple parts and complex assemblies.
The Air Force has released their own article with insights from within their organization.
After seeing a morphing wing demonstration, Maj. Gen. Tom Masiello, the AFRL commander, said, “Here’s another example of a successful government research partnership with small business to advance a very exciting aerospace technology for transition.”
NASA has published a couple of articles describing the flight test program in the context of their Environmentally Responsible Aviation (ERA) project as well as showcasing the G-III test aircraft as a testbed for other future technologies.
"Armstrong's work with ACTE is a great example of how NASA works with our government and industry partners to develop innovative technologies that make big leaps in efficiency and environmental performance," said Jaiwon Shin, associate administrator for NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate at the agency's headquarters in Washington. "This is consistent with the agency's goal to support the nation's leadership in the aviation sector."