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NASA Meatball NASA Dryden F-16XL Ship #2 banner
F-16XL Ship #2 during last flight viewed from below showing shock fence on left wing F-16XL Ship #2 during last flight viewed from below showing shock fence on left wing

Photo Number: EC96-43831-6
Photo Date: October 25, 1996

Formats: 558x480 JPEG Image (53 KBytes)
1190x1024 JPEG Image (692 KBytes)
3030x2606 JPEG Image (11,912 KBytes)

Description: A special "shock fence" installed beneath the leading edge of the left wing is visible in this underside aerial view of NASA's F-16XL #2 research aircraft. The small structure assisted researchers in NASA's Supersonic Laminar Flow Control (SLFC) program in controlling the shock wave coming off the F-16XL's engine air inlet when the craft flew at speeds above Mach 1, or the speed of sound.

The two-seat F-16XL, one of two "XLs" flown by NASA's Drdyen Flight Research Center, Edwards, California, flew 45 missions comprising over 90 flight hours during the SLFC project, much of it at supersonic speeds up to Mach 2 and altitudes up to 55,000 feet. The project demonstrated that laminar -- or smooth -- airflow could be achieved over a major portion of a wing at supersonic speeds by use of a suction system.

Data acquired during the program will be used to develop a design code calibration database which could assist designers in reducing aerodynamic drag of a proposed second-generation supersonic transport.

Keywords: F-16XL Ship #2; shock fence; Supersonic Laminar Flow Control; two seat; SLFC; laminar; suction; smooth

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