Experimental UAV seeks to control deadly vibrations

The Air Force, NASA and Lockheed Martin are teaming for new ways to fight the vibration caused by "flutter" that can destroy aircraft, Jason Paur writes in Wired's Danger Room blog.

Rather than using structural strength to keep the wing intact, the X-56-A modular unmanned aerial vehicle uses computing power, the story said.

NASA and the Air Force hope to develop designs for future high-altitude aircraft that minimize the risk of flutter while keeping the minimal weight of the slender, efficient wings needed to stay aloft for extended periods. They want to do this by relying on a computer to control the flutter by moving the control surfaces to counter the vibrations before they increase to a destructive amplitude, the article added.

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