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Highly Maneuverable Aircraft Technology (HiMAT)

The HiMAT (Highly Maneuverable Aircraft Technology) subscale research vehicles flown by the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, California, from mid 1979 to January 1983 demonstrated advanced fighter technologies that have been used in the development of many modern high performance military aircraft.

DFRC Photo # Photo Date Image Description
  Skip links in main table Highly Maneuverable Aircraft Technology (HiMAT) Photo Collection Contact Sheet
ECN-14273 December 30, 1980 HiMAT in flight
EC80-14280 December 30, 1980 HiMAT in flight
EC80-14281 December 30, 1980 HiMAT in flight
ECN-14283 December 30, 1980 HiMAT subscale research vehicle mated to B-52 mothership in flight
ECN-14284 December 30, 1980 HiMAT subscale research vehicle mated to B-52 mothership in flight, closeup view
EC79-12055 January 3, 1980 HiMAT on lakebed after landing

Additional Information

Two vehicles were used in the research program conducted jointly by NASA and the Air Force Flight Dynamics Laboratory, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. The two vehicles, flown a total of 26 times, provided data on the use of composites, aeroelastic tailoring, close-coupled canards and winglets, and investigated the interaction of these then-new technologies upon each other.

About one-half the size of a standard manned fighter and powered by a General Electric J85-21 jet engine, the HiMAT vehicles were launched from NASA's B-52 carrier aircraft at an altitude of about 45,000 feet. They were flown remotely by a NASA research pilot from a ground station with the aid of a television camera mounted in the HiMAT cockpits.

Technologies tested on the HiMAT vehicles appearing later on other aircraft include the extensive use of composites common now on military and commercial aircraft; rear-mounted wing and forward canard configuration used very successfully on the X-29 research aircraft flown at Dryden; and winglets, now used on many private and commercial aircraft to lessen wingtip drag and enhance fuel savings. The supersonic research vehicles were 21.1 feet long, 15.2 feet wide, and had a top speed of Mach 1.4.

HiMAT Fact Sheet




Last Modified: August 17, 1999
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