In the news...

July 31, 2013

X-56A technology demonstrator achieves first flight

Tags:
Holly Jordan
Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio

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 Dryden Flight Research Center†at Edwards AFB, 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.

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.

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.

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.


 
 

 

Headlines March 2, 2015

News: Israel lobbies for more missile defense funds than Obama sought - For the second consecutive year, Israeli officials have asked the U.S. Congress to add more than $300 million to President Barack Obama’s budget request for their nation’s missile-defense programs.   Business: Inside one of the most intense, and unusual, Pentagon contracting wars - The much-anticipated...
 
 

News Briefs March 2, 2015

Italy resumes Navy exercise amid new tensions over Libya The Italian Navy is resuming exercises in the Mediterranean Sea, including near the coast of Libya, amid concerns about rapidly deteriorating security in the North African nation. The exercise began March 2 and includes anti-submarine, anti-aircraft and anti-ship training operations. The exercise was suspended for a...
 
 

News Briefs February 27, 2015

Ukraine will start pulling back heavy weapons in the east Ukraine’s military says it will start pulling back its heavy weapons from the front line with Russian-backed separatists as required under a cease-fire agreement. The Defense Ministry said in a statement Feb. 26 that it reserved the right to revise its withdrawal plans in the...
 

 

Northrop Grumman’s AstroMesh reflector successfully deploys for NASA’s SMAP satellite

The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory successfully deployed the mesh reflector and boom aboard the Soil Moisture Active Passive spacecraft, a key milestone on its mission to provide global measurements of soil moisture. Launched Jan. 31, SMAP represents the future of Earth Science by helping researchers better understand our planet. SMAP’s unmatched data capabilities are enabled...
 
 

Headlines February 25, 2015

News: Army to send headquarters group to Kandahar in first sign of revision to Afghan withdrawal plan - In the first official sign that the Pentagon plans to keep a U.S. military presence in southern Afghanistan after this year, the Army is sending the 7th Infantry Division headquarters from Joint Base Lewis-McChord on a year-long deployment...
 
 

News Briefs February 25, 2015

Lithuania restores compulsory military service Lithuania will restore compulsory military service for young men as tensions in Ukraine continue to worry the small Baltic nation, the government said Feb. 24. After a meeting of military leaders and top government officials, President Dalia Grybauskaite said the measure was necessary because of growing aggression in Ukraine. Military...
 




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>