Air Force Develops Morphing Aileron for Aircraft Wing

This diagram shows the location of a morphing control surface on a representative half-span wind tunnel model. (Courtesy AFRL)

Researchers from the Air Force Research Laboratory developed and demonstrated additively manufactured, multi-material conformal control surfaces for aircraft wings. The technology offers multiple advantages over today’s conventional flap and slat designs in terms of aerodynamic efficiency, structural integrity, and operational capability.

The method for fabricating control surfaces will help advance the understanding of conformal control surface development through direct application to quick-turn aeroservoelastic wind tunnel models for the validation of next generation aircraft designs.