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F-16XL Ship #2 being towed for preflight check F-16XL Ship #2 being towed for preflight check

Photo Number: EC95-43267-1
Photo Date: Sept. 1995

Formats: 351x480 JPEG Image (45 KBytes)
748x1024 JPEG Image (286 KBytes)

Description: The new look of the left wing on NASA's F-16XL #2, following installation of a laminar flow control panel (dark area, forward center), is visible in this photograph taken Sept. 1, 1995, after 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 along the aircraft wing. By expanding the area of laminar (smooth) flow, this technique could 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 other aircraft.

Keywords: F-16XL Ship #2; laminar flow control panel; boundary layer; aerodynamic drag; smooth

Last Modified: February 6, 2002
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