Learn how nature is inspiring new aircraft designs, in this article from NOVA Next. Modern airplane wings are stiff; they are generally designed for flight at one speed and direction. Bird and bat wings, however, are designed to alter their shape for different modes of flight, such as gliding and diving. Aerospace engineers are modeling the morphing ability of animal wings to design flexible aircraft wings composed of cellular modules with lighter materials and shape-memory alloys. Their goal is to create morphing aircraft that can function efficiently in any flight condition. This resource is part of the NOVA Next Collection.