NASA

August 2, 2013

X-56A technology demonstrator achieves first flight

The X-56A Multi-Utility Technology Testbed takes off on its inaugural flight July 26 at Edwards AFB, Calif. The unmanned aircraft is designed to study active aeroelastic control technologies such as active flutter suppression and gust load alleviation.

The Air Force Research Laboratory, in conjunction with Lockheed Martin and NASA, recently took a major step in the development of active aircraft control technologies with the first flight on July 26 of the X-56A Multi-Utility Technology Testbed flight demonstrator, at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif.

The X-56A is an innovative, modular, unmanned flight research vehicle that will allow investigation of active aeroelastic control technologies such as active flutter suppression and gust load alleviation.

Flutter is a potentially catastrophic instability that can occur when unsteady aerodynamic forces acting on an aircraft structure couple with its natural vibration modes. This is the same basic phenomenon that caused the 1940 collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. The X-56A is designed to exhibit multiple rigid body and aeroelastic instabilities within its flight envelope, which will be actively managed by its flight control system.

During this first flight, the X-56A flew at low altitude for 14 minutes while crews evaluated the aircraft’s handling qualities at 70 knots and collected airspeed calibration data using GPS methods. Handling qualities were also evaluated at 60 knots upon landing approach. The flight was completed successfully, with the aircraft behaving as predicted.

The X-56A demonstrator is designed to allow the testing of a wide range of advanced aerodynamic concepts and technologies. It is powered by twin JetCat P400 turbojets, has a 28-foot wing span, weighs 480 pounds, and is designed and constructed for easy wing replacement. The research to be conducted with the X-56A is critical for the successful development of future slender, lightweight, high-aspect-ratio wing designs that could be used by energy-efficient transport and various unmanned aircraft.

The X-56A Multi-Utility Technology Testbed comes in on final approach to landing July 26 at Edwards AFB, Calif. Powered by twin JetCat P400 turbojets, the X-56A has a 28-foot wing span and weighs 480 pounds

Following Air Force flight testing, the X-56A will be used by the Fixed Wing Project of NASA’s Fundamental Aeronautics Program for their continuing research into lightweight structures and advanced technologies for future low-emissions transport aircraft.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

News Briefs March 27, 2015

Enlisted promotion ceremony The Edwards Enlisted Promotion Ceremony is 3 p.m., March 31 in the base theater. Promotees and commanders will be in service dress. Uniform of the day for all other attendees will be uniform of the day or business casual. CPTS delayed opening The 412th Comptroller Squadron will delay opening until 11 a.m.,...
 
 

Pursuing dreams to fly, fight and win

Have you ever been told you didn’t have what it takes while pursuing a goal? Did you believe it? I did. My final year in college, the Reserve Officer Training Corps detachment commander met with each senior to discuss our Air Force future. When asked what I hoped to do, like most of my peers...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Tom Reynolds

Edwards joint maintenance team completes significant JSF propulsion verification event

Lockheed Martin photograph by Tom Reynolds A joint team of U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy maintainers, DOD employees and Pratt and Whitney contractors work on an F135 engine March 17 as part of a week-long to provide verified tec...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Jet Fabara

Edwards heroes save coworker’s life

Air Force photograph by Jet Fabara Left to right: Moses Zamora, Neil Edwards, Robin “Bubba” Hairston, and Derrick Shannon are heavy equipment operators with the 412th Civil Engineer Group who saved the life of their...
 
 

Edwards CAP squadron to host open house

Edwards AFB’s Civil Air Patrol Squadron will host an open house will be held at the Oasis Community Center 6-8 p.m., March 31. The public is invited to attend and enjoy the squadron cadet program demonstrations. Cadets will be sharing their CAP training experience in the following cadet programs: * Aerospace Education including remotely controlled aircraft and...
 
 
pageant

2015 Edwards Royalty crowned

Courtesy photograph The new Edwards Community Queens were crowned March 21 during the 2015 pageant held at the Oasis Community Center. They are (back row from left) Miss (Danika Blake), Teen Miss (Ariana Medina), Junior Miss (H...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>