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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: EC96-43548-8
Photo Date: Apr. 1996

Formats: 480x611 JPEG Image (126 KBytes)
1005x1280 JPEG Image (674 KBytes)
2400x3055 JPEG Image (5,210 KBytes)

Description: During an April 18, 1996, flight research mission, NASA Dryden Flight Research Center's modified F-16XL conducted testing on laminar flow. The research being conducted involveed a delta-winged F-16XL modified with a "glove" made of titanium. The glove contained more than 10 million holes and had a suction system attached to the lower surface which was comprised of tubes, valves and a compressor. During research flight the suction systems pulled 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 represented 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; titanium glove; smooth; boundary layer; suction; Boeing; Rockwell; McDonnell Douglas

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