In the field of aeronautics, shape morphing has been used to identify those aircraft that undergo substantial geometrical changes in their external shape to enhance or adapt to their mission profiles during flight. This creates superior system capabilities not possible without morphing shape changes. The objective of morphing concepts is to develop high performance aircraft with lifting surfaces designed to change shape and performance substantially during flight to create a multiple-regime, aerodynamically efficient, and shape-changing aircraft. Compared to conventional aircraft, morphing aircraft become more competitive as the demand for improved cost efficient aircraft increases. The concept of implementing shape morphing in aircraft isnât new. In fact, the use of retractable flaps or slats for increased lift during takeoff and landing, retractable landing gear for reduced drag during flight, variable sweep wings in fighters to reduce shock waves in transition from subsonic to supersonic speeds and variable incidence noses, as used in the Concorde for better pilot visibility during take-off and landing, are just a few examples of morphing solutions that aircraft have been using in the past.
Last date updated on July, 2014