A flight-test program recently flown on Scaled Composites' White Knight testbed provides a glimpse of a fuel-saving feature that aircraft may incorporate in the near future--"adaptive compliant" wings. Under U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) sponsorship, FlexSys Inc. developed and tested a compliant wing section in wind tunnels and inflight on the White Knight. The laminar-flow airfoil was mounted vertically on the Knight's pylon, and data were acquired at 25,000 ft. and 40,000 ...

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