Researchers from MIT and NASA have developed a new type of airplane wing that can change shape and increase the efficiency of planes. Compared to traditional wings that only have certain parts that move like the flaps and ailerons, the new wing is made up of hundreds of small pieces that contain both rigid and flexible components that makes it possible to deform the whole wing.
Since the new wing is able to change shape, the wing can adjust itself to the different stages of flight (takeoff, landing, cruise, etc.) which in turn maximizes performance something traditional wings can’t do. Another advantage of this design is that it’s quieter because it reduces drag. In the future, this technology may be integrated into new plane designs and even retrofitted into existing planes.