Researchers from MIT and NASA have designed a flexible “morphing wing” system made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) that draws inspiration from the twisted wings from the Wright Brothers’ first powered flight.

The wing design is based on a system of tiny, lightweight composite subunits called “digital materials” that could be assembled like Legos by a team of small specialized robots, and ultimately could be used to build the entire airframe. MIT says the digital materials can be assembled into “a virtually infinite variety of shapes.”

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Aerospace, News