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NASA Experiments with Oblique-Wing Aircraft

January 20, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

“Your eyes are not deceiving you: The wing of this plane is oblique, turned 60-degrees across its fuselage. It’s the AD-1 Oblique Wing Aircraft and it’s the weirdest plane ever created by NASA. But why did they make it this way?

The AD-1 Oblique Wing Research Aircraft was designed and made at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center—located in Edwards, California, in the western Mojave Desert—in the mid-1970s.

Engineers were curious about the aerodynamic characteristics of such a plane, as well as the control laws required to govern it.

Their objective? Better fuel economy: Wind tunnels at NASA Ames showed that an oblique wing design will use half the fuel at supersonic speeds, thanks to superior aerodynamic qualities.”

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