The latest in a long series of experimental research aircraft, or X-planes, recently arrived at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards, Calif.
Lockheed Martin, developer of the X-56A Multi-Utility Technology Testbed, is currently using the aircraft to explore technologies for active flutter suppression and gust load alleviation for the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Multi-utility Aeroelastic Demonstration program.
The remotely piloted airplane had been housed at Edwards Air Force Base’s North Base complex since last spring, where it was flown in a series of baseline tests involving a standard stiff wing.
Pending resolution of scheduling and technical issues, the modular X-56A will be flown this summer with a flexible wing. Once these tests are concluded, the airplane and its ground control station will be transferred to NASA for follow-on research involving enabling technologies for new kinds of lightweight, energy-efficient, flexible aircraft.