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August 2006 edition

Designers wing way to better and faster aircraft

By Rod Smith

The aircraft of the future will feature wings with radically-changed designs and materials. In this article Airframer highlights a number of current design, research and manufacturing projects that will have a major impact on the new types of wings used in the next-generation aircraft. The projects are focusing on tighter in-flight controls, energy efficiency, reduced fuel consumption, lighter and stronger materials, and lower costs.

Engineers at NASA’s Langley Research Centre in Hampton, Virginia, are developing a design for a flying wing, called a blended wing body (BWB). The BWB will be more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly than wings used in today’s aircraft.

Boeing and its partners have completed construction and are beginning structural testing of a full-scale 787 Dreamliner composite wing box. The test piece measures about 17 feet front spar to rear spar and 50 feet from aircraft centreline to the tip of the composite structure. It will weigh 55,000lbs, including a great deal of test-only hardware and instrumentation.

It was designed and built by a joint team of Boeing, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Fuji Heavy Industries.

This comes as Netherlands-based aerospace company Stork Fokker focuses on developing and refining the Boeing 747-8 wing design. The new wing design will increase the aircraft’s fuel capacity and efficiency and cut noise and maintenance costs.

A GKN Aerospace Composites Research Centre team has started work on a three-year ‘integrated win....

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 Contact details from our directory:
Boeing Commercial Airplanes Airframer
Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation Airframer
Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. Airframer
NASA Langley Research Center Research/Consulting Services, Wind Tunnels, Testing Services
GKN Aerospace Helicopter Assemblies, Aircraft Structural Components, Aircraft Doors, Wings, Empennages, Nacelles, Engine Nozzles, Engine Housings, Transparent Canopies, Fuel Tanks & Systems, Ice Protection/Prevention Equipment, Engine Parts, Winglets, Flotation Gear, Fuselage Sections, Engine Inlets, Windshields, Refueling Equipment, Air Refuelling Systems, Aircraft Control Surfaces, Aircraft Flooring
Fokker Aerostructures Laminates, Thermoplastics, Wire Harnesses, Electrical Wire & Cable, Engineering Design Services, Fuselage Sections, Empennages, Wings, Wing Flaps, Aircraft Flooring, Aircraft Doors, Fairings, Composite Structures
GKN Aerospace - Filton Additive Manufacturing, Aircraft Structural Components, Wings, Wing Flaps, Fuselage Sections

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