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 September 12, 2014

Edwards Chapel hosts weekly series “That the World May Know,” a video teaching series, is being offered on Wednesdays at 11 a.m. at the Higher Grounds Café in the dorm area, Bldg. 2511. This is an amazing presentation from Focus on the Family. The Faith Lessons series takes you on a round trip to ancient...
 
 
Vandalism

Vandalism costs school district $12,000

Several base schools have been vandalized since Aug. 25 incurring over $12,000 in damages to the Muroc Joint Unified School District. The majority of the destruction has occurred at Bailey Elementary School where windows, ceili...
 
 

Air Force revamps AEF

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — The Air Force will deploy Agile Combat Support Airmen under its redesigned air expeditionary force construct October 1. The primary purpose of the redesign was to look at ways to deploy more ACS Airmen with their units and standardize dwell times across the Air Force as much as possible to present a...
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Ethan Wagner

C-17 treads into new territory

U.S. Air Force photo by Ethan Wagner Since Dunlop Tire was selected as the supplier for the C-17 as the replacement tire, the C-17 Global Reach Integrated Test Team at Edwards AFB has been putting the C-17’s new Dunlop tires ...
 
 

Shoplifting at Edwards Exchange down in 2013

According to the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention, there are approximately 27 million shoplifters in America, accounting for more than $35 million a day in losses. This fact is not lost on retailers such as the Army & Air Force Exchange Service. While it may not be evident to the naked eye, the Edwards Air...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Rebecca Amber

412th CE leads way in water conservation

U.S. Air Force photo by Rebecca Amber Xeriscaping can take on many forms, ranging from decomposed granite that looks like dirt, to rocks with desert shrubs and low-water-use trees. Edwards has chosen to stick with a low-mainten...
 




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>