Civil transport airplanes fly with fixed geometry wings optimized only for one design point described by altitude, Mach number and airplane weight. These parameters vary continuously during flight, to which means the wing geometry seldom is optimal. According to aerodynamic investigations a chordwide variation of the wing camber leads to improvements in operational flexibility, buffet boundaries and performance resulting in reduction of fuel consumption. A spanwise differential camber variation allows to gain control over spanwise lift distributions reducing wing root bending moments. This paper describes the design of flexible Fowler flaps for an adaptive wing to be used in civil transport aircraft that allows both a chordwise as well as spanwise differential camber variation during flight. Since both lower and upper skins are flexed by active ribs, the camber variation is achieved with a smooth contour and without any additional gaps.© (1998) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.