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Oblique Wing Research Aircraft (OWRA)

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.

DFRC Photo # Photo Date Image Description
  Skip links in main table Oblique Wing Research Aircraft (OWRA) Photo Collection Contact Sheet
E76-30764 August 2, 1976 Oblique Wing Research Aircraft on ramp
E-30804 August 20, 1976 Oblique Wing aircraft
ECN-5209 April 28, 1976 Oblique Wing range of wing angles
EC76-6048 Nov. 3, 1976 Oblique Wing Research Aircraft in flight

Additional Information

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.

Last Modified: September 27, 2006
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