Hanagud, Sathya V. Scool of Aerospace Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia.
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A high-performance fighter aircraft is a self-contained unit with its own energy source in the form of the fuel. However, a pilot is normally needed to take off, perform maneuvers, and land the aircraft. A pilotless vehicle that could automatically perform these tasks would be a smart aircraft. For an example of a smart structure, consider that the fighter aircraft is capable of flying and performing maneuvers at subsonic, transonic, and supersonic speeds, and different airfoil cross sections or shapes of the wing are more efficient at different speed regimes. The wing structure is a smart structure if any of the following can be achieved:
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