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 B-47A Stratojet banner

B-47A Stratojet

The B-47A (49-1900) bomber was the first to be built at the Boeing Aircraft Company in Witchita, Kansas. NACA High-Speed Flight Research Station obtained that B-47A Stratojet (NACA 150) to study the characteristics of a large, flexible swept-wing aircraft in 1953.

DFRC Photo # Photo Date Image Description
  Skip links in main table B-47A Stratojet Photo Collection Contact Sheet
E54-01317 July 14, 1954 Stan Butchart climbing into B-47
E-1004 August 12, 1953 B-47A landing with drag chute
E-1044 August 12, 1953 B-47A on ramp
E-1403 September 17, 1954 B-47A on ramp with crew, pilots Stan Butchart and Joe Walker
E-1433 1954 NACA Aircraft Fleet on lakebed - D-558-II and B-47A
E-959 1953 NACA Aircraft in hangar 1952 - L-R: Three D-558-IIs, D-558-1, B-47, and the wing of YF-84A. Background are the X-4 and F-51
E-960 1952 NACA Aircraft in hangar 1952 - clockwise from front center: YF-84A, D-558-I, D-558-II, B-47, X-1 ship 2, and XF-92A. Behind the B-47 L-R: X-4, F-51, D-558-I, and X-5

Additional Information

NACA laboratories had an interest in the B-47A NACA 150; Langley Memorial Laboratory wished to study the impact of aeroelasticity upon structural loads and Ames Aeronautical Laboratory, the impact of aeroelasticity upon dynamic stability. Operation of the aircraft from either Center was not practical because of runway length. Accordingly the B-47A NACA 150 was sent to NACA High-Speed Flight Research Station at Edwards, where it flew from May 1953 to 1957.

In the past the response to control-surface motions had been fairly well established for a relatively rigid airplane by flight test and theory. However, in the mid 1950s the desire to increase the range and speed of large airplanes led to sweptback wings of high aspect ratio, thin airfoils, and fuselages of high fineness ratio. All of these factors tend to increase the flexibility of the structure and the associated aeroelastic effects which were becoming of greater importance in problems of static and dynamic stability and control. The dynamic effects were especially important in the design of automatic control systems because structural modes could introduce instabilities which would not arise with a rigid airplane.

The B-47A Stratojet did not have any apparent problems when it arrived at NACA but the testing revealed some serious design deficiencies; in particular, buffeting problems limited the plane's speeds and certain lift values. The B-47A testing resulted in reports that gave engineers and design teams around the country access to reliable information on the dynamic behavior and response characteristics that could be expected of large, flexible sweptwing airplanes, such as the Boeing KC-135 and the B-707 transport.

Last Modified: October 2, 2007
Responsible NASA Official: Marty Curry
Curator: PAO Webmasters

NASA Website Privacy Statement