Friday, January 21, 2011

Another Odd Looking Aircraft by NASA.

Don't adjust your monitor settings, because the wing you are seeing are in fact set an an angle... weird huh?
The AD-1 Oblique Wing Aircraft is one of the strangest planes ever created by NASA. Designed and built at the Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, California in the mid 1970s. The design allows the plane to take off and fly at low altitudes with the wing set at a standard configuration, but when it accelerated the wing would rotate to a 60 degree angle.
....why would NASA do this?
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.
Although the design proved the objective to be successful, the plane handled poorly when sweeping at 45 degree angles. No further research was made and the plane was last flown in 1982.

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