Specialists controlled by Boeing and NASA project Adaptive Spanwise Wing has developed a special alloy, which you can use to make easy foldable wings.
The idea of creating a flexible wing is not new, but developers who tried to do something similar before, inevitably encountered difficulties, such as the hydraulic mechanisms used for bending the wings were bulky, heavy and therefore the aircraft, equipped with them, had more disadvantages than advantages. The new actuators developed by NASA in conjunction with Boeing and several research centers, easier old prototypes by 80%. They are made of alloys with “shape memory”, and you can use them even in supersonic aircraft.
Recently, NASA conducted tests of the remotely controlled prototype, whose wings can be bent up and down from 0 to 70 degrees. The prototype undertook three flight with the wings in the “zero” position, with the curved 70 degrees up and the same down.
Engineers came to the conclusion that the use of a new alloy is quite justified, because the prototype gave excellent performance throughout the three flights. The material from which made the wings, too, showed himself very well, remaining stable throughout all three flights, which could not be said about other materials that were tried for similar purposes previously.
The developers believe that in the future they will do more easy and simple designs with more long and narrow with folding wings. This will reduce fuel consumption, and will help the aircraft adjust to the challenging air conditions and will facilitate supersonic flight.