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Ministry of Education.
Kaua e rangiruatia te hāpai o te hoe; e kore to tātou waka e ū ki uta

Nasa set to test cleaner, quieter wings

14 May 2014

Silhouette of a plane in the sunset

Current plane wing designs create noise pollution and aren’t very efficient. Are wings that change shape a better solution?

In place of the jet’s old flaps, Nasa engineers are fitting a new bendable wing control surface known as an Adaptive Compliant Trailing Edge (ACTE). The technology’s key advantage is that it eliminates the gaps in wing edges seen in traditional hinged flaps, replacing them with a gently contoured transition.

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Discussion starters

  • Technological modelling: Use this and other examples to describe examples to illustrate how prototypes were tested to evaluate a technological outcome’s fitness for purpose. (level 4)
  • Technological products: Use this and other examples to suggest why the materials used in particular technological products were selected (level 2). Discuss examples to illustrate how decisions about material selection take into account the composition of the material and the specifications of the product. (level 5)


Image courtesy of satit_srihin/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Keywords: aeroplanes, wings, technological modelling, technological products

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