Our video this week comes from the Flight Loads Lab at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Centre, where engineers have been testing a new composite wing material known as the ‘Hershey Bar’.
Adding incremental weight to the structure, the NASA team measures how the material bends and twists, gauging its aerodynamic performance under strain. The lab study was conducted ahead of more extensive testing on a larger section of the ‘Hershey Bar’ wing due to take place in 2017.
“This test article is a representative test article of the larger passive aero-elastic tailored wing which we’re going to be testing next summer,” said Larry Hudson, chief engineer at the Flight Loads Lab.
“The purpose of this test is to investigate the bend-twist coupling of this particular composite structure. The overall goal of the project is to make more flexible wings, with improved structural and aerodynamic performance.”
At this point, the space agency isn’t giving any details away about what the material consists of, but given the loads it’s subjected to in the video, we can be fairly sure it’s not chocolate.