Msg : 505 of 2989 Scn
From : Leo V. Mironoff 2:5020/293 Sun 6 Aug 95 14:38
To : All Mon 7 Aug 95 19:11
Subj : ad-1 fact sheet
An aircraft wing which can be pivoted obliquely from zero to 60 degrees
during flight was successfully demonstrated in a program conducted between
1979 and 1982 at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Canter, Edwards,
The unique wing was demonstrated on a small subsonic jet-powered research
aircraft called the AD-1 (Ames Dryden -1). The aircraft was flown 79 times
during the research program which evaluated the basic pivot wing concept
and gathered information on handling qualities and aerodynamics at various
speeds and degrees of pivot.
The oblique wing concept originated with Robert T. Jones, an aeronautical
engineer at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA.
Analytical and wind tunnel studies Jones initiated at Ames indicated that a
transport-size oblique wing, flying at l,000 mph, might achieve twice the
fuel economy of more conventional wings.
At high speeds, both subsonic and supersonic, the wing would be pivoted
fore and aft at up to 60 degrees to the aircraft's fuselage for better
high-speed performance. The studies said these angles would decrease
aerodynamic drag, permitting increased speed and longer range with the same
At lower speeds, during takeoffs and landings, the wing would be
perpendicular to the fuselage like a conventional wing to provide maximum
lift and control qualities. As the aircraft gained speed, the wing would be
pivoted to increase the oblique angle, thereby reducing the drag and
decreasing fuel consumption.
The AD-1 aircraft was delivered to Dryden in Feb. 1979. It was constructed
by the Ames Industrial Co., Bohemia, NY, under a $240,000 fixed-price
Piloting the aircraft on its first flight Dec. 21, 1979, was NASA research
pilot Thomas C. McMurtry, who was also the pilot on the final flight Aug.
Powered by two small turbojet engines, each producing 220 lb of thrust, the
aircraft had a top speed of about 200 mph.
The AD-1 was 40 ft in length and had a wing span of 32 ft. It was
constructed of composites materials, primarily fiberglass, and had a gross
weight of about 2,000 lb.
A fixed tricycle landing gear, mounted close to the fuselage to lessen
aerodynamic drag, gave the aircraft a very "squatty" appearance on the
The wing was pivoted by an electrically driven gear mechanism located
inside the fuselage, just forward of the engines.
The research program to validate the oblique wing concept was very typical
of any NASA high-risk project -- advance through each test element, and
expand the operating envelope, very methodically and carefully.
The AD-1 was flown 79 times, beginning with its first flight late in 1979.
The wing was pivoted incrementally over the next 18 months until the full
60-degree angle was reached in mid 198l. The aircraft continued to be flown
for another year, obtaining data at various speeds and wing pivot angles
until the final flight in Aug. 1982.
Final flight of the AD-1 did not occur at Dryden, however, but at the
Experimental Aircraft Association's (EAA) annual exhibition at Oshkosh, WI,
where it was flown eight times to demonstrate its unique configuration.
The oblique wing is still considered by Jones as a viable lift concept for
large transoceanic or transcontinental transports.
* Origin: - The Endless Quest - (2:5020/293)
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