Shape memory alloy research featured in Wired magazine

WiredAircraft with shapeshifting wings may seem like the stuff of movies, but with the use of shape memory alloys (SMAs), it may be a reality in the near future. Dr. Darren Hartl, associate professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&M University, whose research is featured in Wired magazine, is part of a team working on using SMAs to shift parts of an aircraft in mid-flight.

Shape memory alloys would allow engineers to design an aircraft that could change in response to variables, such as temperature, humidity and barometric pressure. Because shockwaves behave differently in these variables, this would in effect help minimize the sonic boom that is created when these shockwaves come off an aircraft and combine together as they head toward the ground. Reduce the sonic boom and you just might see supersonic flight over land in the near future.

Read the entire Wired article here