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F-111 TACT Photo Gallery Contact Sheet F-111 TACT Photo Gallery Contact Sheet

Photo Number: N/A
Photo Date: 23 May 2000

Formats: Low Resolution Image Contact Sheet (10 KBytes)
Medium Resolution Image Contact Sheet (10 KBytes)
High Resolution Image Contact Sheet (10 KBytes)

Description: These are the image contact sheets for each image resolution of the NASA Dryden F-111 TACT Photo Gallery.

Over a span of about 23 years from 1967 to about 1990, records indicate around six General Dynamic F-111 Aardvark aircraft at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, California. During this time span, four areas of significant flight testing stand out. The first tests occurred during the late 1960s when NASA worked on evaluating problems with the early F-111A (#63- 9771 and #63-9777) for the Air Force and Navy. The early 1970s through the late 1980s brought the second and third phases of testing with an on-going effort to improve the F-111A (#63-9778). The second phase called transonic aircraft technology (TACT/F-111A) added an highly efficient supercritical wing and later the third phase applied advanced wing (Mission Adaptive Wing-MAW) flight control technologies and was called Advanced Fighter Technology Integration (AFTI/F-111A). The fourth effort, utilizing an F-111E (#67-0115), ran from 1973 to 1976, and used an engine with an electronic control system (fly-by-wire) in place of the traditional hydro-mechanical system. This program called the integrated propulsion control system (IPCS) helped validate the Digital Electronic Engine Control (DEEC) concept.

Starting in 1971 the NASA Flight Research Center and the Air Force undertook a major research and flight testing program, using F-111A (#63-9778), which would span almost 20 years before completion. Intense interest over the results coming from the NASA F-8 supercritical wing program spurred NASA and the Air Force to modify the General Dynamics-Convair F-111A to explore the application of supercritical wing technology to maneuverable military aircraft. By 1971 NASA and General Dynamics had over 1600 hours of wind tunnel time on perfecting a suitable wing. Dr. Richard Whitcomb, NASA Langley Research Center determined its shape, twist, and airfoil coordinates. General Dynamics built the wing and the Air Force Flight Dynamics Laboratory funded the program. Thus NASA and the Air Force started the Transonic Aircraft Technology (TACT) program. Over the next few years the TACT aircraft few frequently on research flights. The supercritical wing improved the performance of the TACT/F-111A. The wing delayed the drag rise at transonic speeds and produced substantially more lift then the conventional wing.

In parallel with the TACT program a series of aerodynamic experiments were flown piggyback, gathering significant data. The base drag experiment used different shapes in two base pressure areas (1) the fuselage closure between the engines and (2) the aft end of the body-of -revolution on top of the vertical fin. A joint NASA Dryden Flight Research Center and Langley Research Center natural laminar flow experiment was another test performed after the TACT program on the F-111A. Two partial wing gloves were installed on each wing with pressure ports and boundary rakes on the right glove. A series of flights indicated the airfoil installed on the partial glove improved natural laminar flow.

Keywords: F-111 TACT; F-111A; F-111E; Aardvark; General Dynamics F-111A Aardvark; NASA Dryden Flight Research Center; Air Force; Transonic Aircraft Technology; TACT; Mission Adaptive Wing; MAW; Dr. Richard Whitcomb; Supercritical Wing; NASA Langley Research Center;Integrated Propulsion Control System; IPCS; Advanced Fighter Technology Integration; AFTI; Digital Electronic Engine Control; DEEC; Air Force Flight Dynamics Laboratory; Air Force Flight Propulsion Laboratory; Pratt & Whitney Company; Natural Laminar Flow.

Last Modified: February 6, 2002
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