Skip Top nav bar link group topnav end piece go to business section go to education section go to history section go to gallery section go to news section go to organizations section go to research section go to search engine go to site index topnav end piece
NASA Meatball NASA Dryden Rotor Systems Research Aircraft (RSRA) banner
Rotor Systems Research Aircraft (RSRA) Photo Gallery Contact Sheet Rotor Systems Research Aircraft (RSRA) Photo Gallery Contact Sheet

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

Formats: Low Resolution Image Contact Sheet (22 KBytes)
Medium Resolution Image Contact Sheet (22 KBytes)
High Resolution Image Contact Sheet (2 KBytes)


These are the image contact sheets for each image resolution of the NASA Dryden Rotor Systems Research Aircraft (RSRA) Photo Gallery.

A Rotor Systems Research Aircraft (RSRA) underwent limited ground and flight tests at the Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, California, in spring of 1984. The purpose of the tests were to train pilots and to verify and develop the design flight envelope established by the Sikorsky Aircraft Company.

The RSRA was a unique pure research aircraft developed to fill the void between design analysis, wind tunnel testing, and flight results of rotor aircraft. The joint NASA/Army project began in December of 1970, with the first of two aircraft arriving from Sikorsky on February 11, 1979. The aircraft was designed to investigate the concepts involved with stopping the main rotor in flight, with the large blades then providing aerodynamic lift assistance to the stubby conventional wings extending from the lower fuselage. This concept gave the aircraft the vertical flight stability of a helicopter, and the horizontal cruise capability of a conventional aircraft.

The test aircraft had a basic helicopter fuselage with the wings and lower horizontal all-flying stabilizer installed. Two auxiliary power plants were mounted on either side of the fuselage. These GE TF-34's were used to offset drag effects when rotor systems were being tested with the aircraft in compound configuration, and to provide thrust for the airplane configuration.

The tests at Dryden were to familiarize pilots and researchers with the ground-handling and takeoff flight characteristics, as well as to acquire in-flight data in the aircraft configuration, with the main rotor removed. Tests were successful and lead to later rotor research conducted at NASA's Ames Research Center. One of the two RSRA aircraft was later modified to the X-Wing and received limited testing at Dryden before the program was terminated in 1988.

Keywords: Rotor Systems Research Aircraft; RSRA; X-wing; rotor; helicopter; takeoff; landing

Last Modified: February 6, 2002
Responsible NASA Official: Marty Curry
Curator: PAO Webmasters

NASA Website Privacy Statement