The NASA has recently started their development regarding planes having the ability to fold their wings at different angles during flight. These kinds of planes will have the potential to fly faster than their existing fleets. The U.S space agency has managed a number of test flights to ensure the control of proposed designed wings in moving desired and specific position and a significant amount of aerodynamic benefits. This technology has existed in various fighter jets and it typically needs the involvement of heavy hydraulic systems. But, the version of NASA doesn’t need any type of such machinery. It depends on the temperature-activated material know as Shape Memory Alloy. The Alloy activates a twisting operation in the tubes being used as the actuator of the wings. It moves the outer part of the wings at more than 70 degrees both upwards and downwards.
These types of foldable wings will provide a way to traditional planes such as commercial airliners to adapt it to different types of flight conditions. It can give more control to pilots over their plane and might lead to more fuel-efficient flights. The team of NASA agency has planned to continue their development in the technology until they confirm the movement of foldable wings in both upward and downward directions during a single flight. They are currently able to fold in just a single direction during flight. The team members should focus on rearranging the hardware for their every test until the movement of wings in opposite directions. It is expected that agency will conduct its next group of test flights during summer 2018.