Ya just gotta laugh…

There are K-9s and then there are k-9s…

I don’t care who you are, that’s funny! πŸ™‚

On a different note, there are some amazing technologies being tested for aircraft to make them more stable, more fuel efficient, etc. NASA turned to Area-I to operate an autonomous flight testbed called Prototype Technology-Evaluation Research Aircraft, or PTERA. PTERA was designed and built by Area-I, which was also involved in the design and integration of a shape memory alloy-actuated, wing-folding mechanism for the aircraft.

The full article is HERE, at NASA’s website. Now comes the math, fluid dynamics, and the myriad of details that go into actually ‘seeing’ if the improvements will prove out…

Talk about thinking OUTSIDE the box…


Sometimes… — 14 Comments

  1. > the ability to fold wings in flight has always been dependent on heavy and bulky conventional motors and hydraulic systems, which can be cumbersome to the aircraft.

    So, essentially, they’re replaced ordinary hydraulic or electric actuators with sooper-technoid “memory metal.” We know from experience that hydraulic and electric systems will work from below zero up past temperatures where the paint blisters off the aircraft, and the pumps and generators are essentially “free” since they have other uses in the aircraft.

    “Memory metal” isn’t anything new; Edmund Scientific catalogs sold it in the 1960s.

    > The shape memory alloy is triggered by temperature, and works by using thermal memory in a tube to move and function as an actuator. Upon being heated, the alloy would activate a twisting motion in the tubes, which ultimately moves the wing’s outer portion up or down.

    Soooo… you have to have a fairly sophisticated thermal control system, which means more weight and electrical load…

    Ain’t no such thing as a free lunch, people. There’s so much spin on this article I had to pause between paragraphs to keep from getting dizzy.

  2. Funny. I think that man’s nose was in some danger. That dog can jump.

    • If the dog jumped half as high he would be twice as frightening.

  3. TRX- No question that it’s not free (or cheap). I just thought it was interesting from the application viewpoint.

    Ed/JMI/CP- Agreed!

    Posted from my iPhone.

  4. I continuously shake my head at articles like that one about “folding wings being more efficient.” As mentioned previously, the hydraulics and motors required add to the dry gross weight which then requires more thrust to overcome–you know, those four pesky but basic principles of flight.

    Look at general aviation–the planes that are the most efficient are those with the lowest amount of wing loading. Planes like a Mooney, RV9, Taylorcraft, Cessna 150/152–planes with lots of wing surface, deep chord lines and that can cruise at a high coefficient with a minimal amount of horsepower.

    Supersonic is another story. A whole nother story. Birds like the F-14, F-111 and other controllable swept wing configurations accomplish (already) what this “folding in flight wing” concept is dreaming about.