A REVIEW ON WING MORPHING
Since the inception of the first flight by Wright brothers, the aerodynamicist had been focusing on improvement of aircraft performance through suitable alteration of design parameters. Most promising geometrical parameter of the aircraft was to be the wing itself. Designers and researchers conducted large number of experiments with different varieties of aspect ratio and concluded that changing the shape of the wing during actual flight can tremendously improve aircraft performance. This technique is analogous to shape change of wings of natural flyers. This had been the genesis of shape forming or conveniently “shape morphing”. Hence, shape morphing, in general, involves the change of shape of wings during flight to adapt a particular type of mission. Thus, an aircraft with a morphed wing is capable to undertake multiple missions and multiple maneuvers with combat agility, improved fuel efficiency and reduced drag. Since the wing defines the primary shape of the aircraft, an aircraft with morphed wings is conveniently renamed as a smart structure. While, the dynamic loads are fully accounted, careful considerations of the power requirement for wing planform variation will enable the smart technology as a future aviation for high performance aerial vehicles. The present paper focuses on various aspects of shape morphing and scope of future developments.
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