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NASA Meatball NASA Dryden F-16XL Ship #2 banner
F-16XL Ship #2 in hangar for Laminar Flow Glove mounting F-16XL Ship #2 in hangar for Laminar Flow Glove mounting

Photo Number: EC95-43003-1
Photo Date: March 10, 1995

Formats: 558x480 JPEG Image (96 KBytes)
1190x1024 JPEG Image (657 KBytes)
3030x2606 JPEG Image (8,205 KBytes)

Description: NASA's two-seat F-16XL research aircraft is shown in the modification hangar at the Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, California, during installation of a titanium "glove" on the upper surface of its modified left wing.

The aircraft subsequently concluded a 13 month-long, 45-flight research program which investigated drawing off a small portion of the boundary-layer air in order to provide laminar -- or smooth -- flow over a major portion of a wing flying at supersonic speeds. A turbo-compressor in the aircraft's fuselage provided suction to draw air through more than 10 million tiny laser-drilled holes in the glove via a manifold system employing 20 valves.

Data obtained during the program could assist designers of future high-speed aircraft in developing a more efficient civil transport.

Keywords: F-16XL Ship #2; laminar flow; titanium glove installation; left wing; turbo-compressor; suction; laminar (smooth) flow; boundary layer air

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