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NASA Meatball NASA Dryden F-16XL Ship #2 banner
F-16XL Ship #2 SLFC - in flight configured with SLFC F-16XL Ship #2 SLFC - in flight configured with SLFC "glove"

Photo Number: EC96-43548-10
Photo Date: Apr. 1996

Formats: 558x480 JPEG Image (80 KBytes)
1191x1024 JPEG Image (527 KBytes)
2000x1720 JPEG Image (643 KBytes)

Description: During an April 18, 1996, flight research mission, NASA Dryden Flight Research Center's modified F-16XL conducts testing on laminar flow. The research being conducted involves a delta-winged F-16XL modified with a "glove" which is made of titanium. The glove contains more than 10 million holes and has a suction system attached to the lower surface which is comprised of tubes, valves and a compressor. During research flight the suction systems pulls a small part of the boundary layer of air through the glove's porous surface to create laminar (or smooth) air flow.

Researchers believe that laminar flow conditions can reduce aerodynamic drag (friction) and contribute to reduced operating costs by improving fuel consumption and lowering aircraft weight.

This Supersonic Laminar Flow Control (SLFC) experiment represents a collaborative effort between NASA and aerospace industry (specifically Boeing, Rockwell, and McDonnell Douglas), with Boeing assembling the panel and McDonnell Douglas designing the suction system.

Keywords: F-16XL Ship #2; SLFC; Supersonic Laminar FLow Control; smooth; aerodynamic drag; boundary layer; suction

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