“Many aircraft designers have their own proprietary techniques for developing next-generation morphing ailerons for aircraft that can reduce aerodynamic and acoustic losses,” said Pankonien. “This patented fabrication technique gives AFRL its own intellectual property that can be used to explore designs similar to industry with rapid ground-testing techniques.”
Researchers across the U.S. Air Force are using similar solutions to create cost-effective, optimized aerospace technologies as part of a digital transformation.
“Meeting the Digital Century Series goals for generating and flying more aircraft designs in a timely manner starts with effective ground testing techniques and design methodologies that more efficiently use the resources that we have,” said Pankonien. “Digital engineering takes many forms. Being smarter, even at the level of an aircraft’s control surfaces, is as essential as rethinking the frameworks that we use to explore them.”