Through the process of natural evolution, birds have developed their muscular structure and body shapes to optimize flight performance. Inspired by the examples provided from nature, morphing structures utilizing similar micros-vascular systems and wing shapes as birds are explored to increase aircraft efficiency . The optimized implementation of shape memory alloys actuators enables morphing of aircraft wings in a similar way as muscle fiber, while liquid metal flowing inside SMA channels act as the vascular system providing and removing energy.
One of the concepts is to use SMA composite actuators on wing skins to actuate as bird muscles. A preliminary prototype developed in the lab is demonstrated in the video below.
ators as muscles