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NASA Meatball Oblique Wing Research Aircraft (OWRA)  Photo Collection banner
Oblique Wing Research Aircraft (OWRA)

Oblique Wing Research Aircraft in flight

Photo Number: EC76-6048
Photo Date: November 3, 1976
Formats: 640x621 JPEG Image (276 KBytes)
1280x1242 JPEG Image (1322 KBytes)
3000x2910 JPEG Image (8907 KBytes)
Oblique Wing Research Aircraft in flight
The Oblique Wing Research Aircraft was a small, remotely piloted, research craft designed and flight tested to look at the aerodynamic characteristics of an oblique wing and the control laws necessary to achieve acceptable handling qualities. NASA Dryden Flight Research Center and the NASA Ames Research Center conducted research with this aircraft in the mid-1970s to investigate the feasibility of flying an oblique wing aircraft. The oblique wing rotates about a pivot to allow the wing to be set at its most efficient angle for the speed it is flying. At higher speeds the wing takes advantage of the gains achieved by a swept wing while offsetting some of the drag producing disturbances. The oblique wing concept could result in transonic drag reduction and have the added benefit of producing corresponding fuel savings.

The aircraft's wing was capable of being skewed up to 45 degrees left wing forward. The aircraft was flown in two configurations, the short and long tail version. To aid in the remote piloting task, a television camera was mounted in the nose of the vehicle to provide forward looking views. Power was provided by a 90-horsepower, four cylinder, air-cooled, reciprocating engine.

The flight program was limited to three flights flown over Rosamond dry lakebed at Edwards Air Force Base, of approximately 1 hour each. After the first flight, longitudinal stability problems required a configuration change. The tail was moved back three feet and this configuration was used for the last two flights. Maneuvers were performed at wing skew angles of 0 to 45 degrees. This program provided information which led to flight testing a piloted aircraft with an oblique wing, called the AD-1.

NASA Photo by: NASA
Keywords: Oblique Wing Research Aircraft (OWRA); Remotely Piloted Research Vehicle; NASA Dryden Flight Research Center; NASA Ames Research Center

Last Modified: September 21, 2006
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