Despite the well know statement of Oscar Wilde, i.e. Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future, it is now well accepted that future air transport systems will be more and more active, adaptive, and aeroelastic, with a different blend of such characteristics depending on the specific flight missions.
Active: means structures equipped with different kind of control devices used to improve the performances, increase safety and comfort.
Adaptive: means capability to adapt and change their geometry through morphing from one configuration to the another so to stay at maximum efficiency for different flight conditions
Aeroelastic: means that from the beginning of the design the structure must be considered as flexible and the interaction between aerodynamic, inertial and elastic forces must be exploited as an opportunity and not treated as a constraint.