Aeroplane like a bird – changes it’s skin shape

Read the full morphing airplane skin patent application

The idea looks impressive, but there are two key considerations. The
first is weight. In the aerospace industry every gram counts and
aircraft designers are unlikely to trade factors such as range and top
speed for an unproven material. On the other hand, if this chain link
surface can be made of lightweight composites, then it could
conceivably be lighter than conventional metallic skin.The
second consideration is cost. There’s no question that this stuff will
be expensive to manufacture on the scale needed to cover an aircraft.
Then again, when did cost ever deter the US Air Force?

New Scientist Invention Blog: “Chain-mail” airplane skin


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