1987-11-13

Mission-Adaptive Wing 872419

The Mission-Adaptive Wing (MAW) employs composite materials and uses a digital fly-by-wire flight control system to change wing contour to maintain peak aerodynamic efficiency over a large flight envelope. Future aircraft will require large subsonic and supersonic lift-to-drag ratios for maximum cruise ranges at high and low altitudes. At the same time, they will require the ability to pull high lift coefficients for maneuvers. The Mission-Adaptive Wing provides these Features by deflecting flexible wing surfaces to achieve the wing camber and smooth continuous upper surface contour required for peak aerodynamic performance. The MAW program completed manual control flight testing in November 1986 and started automatic control flight testing in the summer of 1987. During the manual phase of flight testing, surfaces were set in discrete positions. Resulting data confirmed the aerodynamic potential to achieve all program goals. The automatic control phase will test four modes designed to increase range, maneuverability, and operational flexibility without affecting pilot workload.

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