NASA’s G-III Research Test Bed aircraft No. 804 recently underwent structural testing in NASA Dryden Flight Research Center’s Flight Loads Laboratory.
The experimental project currently under way with the aircraft is the Adaptive Compliant Trailing Edge flight experiment, or ACTE, a joint effort between NASA and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory.
In the ACTE experiment, both of the G-III’s conventional 19-foot-long aluminum flaps will be replaced with advanced, shape-changing flaps that form continuous bendable surfaces made using composite materials with a patented design by FlexSys, Inc.
The goal of the Dryden Loads Lab testing was to quantify the stress loads of the aircraftís existing flaps, flap tracks and the wing structures in the surrounding areas in order to provide baseline data for comparison of the stress loads of the new ACTE flaps once they are installed.
If successful, this experiment will enable aircraft using such flaps to be significantly quieter during takeoff, approach and landing.