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NASA Meatball NASA Dryden F-16XL Ship #2 banner
F-16XL Ship #2 first flight from above F-16XL Ship #2 first flight from above

Photo Number: EC95-43297-2
Photo Date: 13 Oct. 1995

Formats: 362x480 JPEG Image (49 KBytes)
773x1024 JPEG Image (340 KBytes)
2400x3180 JPEG Image (9,366 KBytes)

Description: The laminar flow control panel on the left wing (dark area, forward center) of NASA's F-16XL is highly visible in this photo taken Oct. 13, 1995, during the first functional check flight of the aircraft following the experimental panel's installation.

The laminar flow research project, flown at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, California, investigated the use of a suction system built into the experimental panel and wing to remove a small part of the boundary layer of air above the aircraft wing. Researchers believe that the resulting laminar (smooth) flow over a larger portion of the wing can reduce aerodynamic drag and help reduce aircraft operating costs by improving fuel consumption. Data from the NASA research project may lead to the use of a similar suction system to achieve laminar flow on future supersonic transports and fighter aircraft.


Keywords: F-16XL Ship #2; left wing; supersonic laminar flow control research; boundary layer; aerodynamic drag


Last Modified: February 6, 2002
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