On this plane, the wings can bend

Experimental military jet tries to improve efficiency

If you were waiting on the runway and were told that the wings on your plane would twist in high winds, you'd probably bolt out of your seat for the nearest exit. Then again, you wouldn't be riding in an "X-53"--a modified A-18 fighter jet with wings that are supposed to bend for improved maneuverability at transonic speeds, according to Defense Tech.

The Air Force, NASA and Boeing are joining forces to build the plane, which has wings that twist as much as 5 degrees to reduce structural weight by up to 20 percent and thereby make the aircraft more fuel efficient. Even the Pentagon, it seems, has to deal with rising gas prices.

About the author

    Mike Yamamoto is an executive editor for CNET News.com.

     

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