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Adaptive Compliant Trailing Edge (ACTE) Flight Experiment

Adaptive Compliant Trailing Edge (ACTE) Flight Experiment
Hyperelastic Research/Lightweight Flexible Aircraft, Advancing technology and science through flight 2014, Research, Technology, and Engineering Accomplishments, National Aeronautics and Space Administration NASA, Neil A. Armstrong Flight Research Center. new invention technology, Research project paper;

Adaptive Compliant Trailing Edge (ACTE) Flight Experiment


The ACTE experimental flight research project is investigating whether advanced flexible trailing-edge wing flaps can both improve aircraft aerodynamic efficiency and reduce noise associated with takeoffs and landings. The experiment involves replacing the conventional aluminum wing Fowler flaps of a Gulfstream III (G-III) research testbed aircraft with advanced, shape-changing, composite material flaps that form continuous bendable surfaces. The primary goal of the experiment is to collect flight data about the integration and reliability of the composite wing flaps.


Work to date: The G-III has been converted and instrumented into a test platform. The flexible structures have been developed and tested for aircraft applications.


Looking ahead: Flight testing is scheduled to begin in fall 2014. The new flexible wing flaps have arrived at Armstrong, and engineers are preparing them for ground vibration testing, fit checks, and eventual installation. Ultimately, the goal is to work toward developing a wing that incorporates this design from the start, rather than flap integration as has occurred to date.


Partners: FlexSys Inc. designed and built the revolutionary experimental flaps under contract to the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory. NASA's Environmentally Responsible Aviation Project is supporting the NASA work.



Innovative: Advances compliant structure technology for use in aircraft to significantlyeduce drag, wing weight, and aircraft noise

Economical: Reduces drag and increases fuel efficiency through the use of an advanced compliant structure



 Aircraft control surfaces

 Helicopter blades and wind turbines


Hyperelastic Research/Lightweight Flexible Aircraft


Armstrong engineers are pioneering new research in aircraft design and modeling. Researchers are experimenting with revolutionary hyperelastic wing control technologies that can reduce weight, improve aircraft aerodynamic efficiency, and suppress flutter. Other cutting-edge research involves techniques, models, and analysis tools for flutter suppression and gust-load allevia-tion.Flight projects at Armstrong rely on high-performance aircraft that can support research on lightweight structures and advance control technologies for future efficient, environmentally friendly transport aircraft. This work has applicability beyond flight safety and design optimization.Armstrong's R&D capabilities in this area also can be applied to other vehicles, such as supersonic transports, large space structures, and hypersonic vehicles.



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