Wed, Jul 23, 2003
F/A-18 Uses Wright (Not Curtiss) Technology
Let's start the war again: did the
Wrights, or Glenn Curtiss, invent truly 'controllable' flight? So
far, engineers favor the aileron system invented by Glenn Curtiss;
but the courts, and the historians, naturally attributed powered,
heavier-than-air controlled flight to the Wrights.
At any rate, the concept of 'wing-warping' is back, and it's
high-tech. Now, it's called "Active Aeroelastic Wing" technology.
NASA's Active Aeroelastic Wing (AAW) F/A-18A Hornet, the first
aircraft to bear the official "Centennial of Flight" logo, will be
on display at the Experimental Aircraft Association's AirVenture
2003 air show at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh.
The highly-instrumented NASA research aircraft will be displayed
at AeroShell Square adjacent to the "Countdown to Kittyhawk"
pavilion at AirVenture from July 29 through August 4.
The modified AAW F/A-18A jet fighter is currently in a flight
research program to investigate active control of flexible wings
for enhanced maneuverability at NASA's Dryden Flight Research
Center at Edwards Air Force Base (CA). A joint program of the Air
Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), NASA Dryden and Boeing Phantom
Works, AAW seeks to demonstrate improved aircraft roll control
through aerodynamically induced wing twist on a full-scale manned
supersonic aircraft-essentially a 21st century, high-tech update of
the primitive wing-warping control system devised by the Wright
brothers for their 1903 Wright Flyer. Among other benefits, the
concept could allow lighter-weight wings for better maneuverability
for future high-performance military aircraft.
Several NASA personnel will be on hand at the EAA AirVenture
venue to discuss the program with news media. Among those available
for media interviews will be NASA AAW Dryden project managers Larry
Myers and Denis Bessette, chief engineer David Voracek, and project
pilots Dana Purifoy and Richard Ewers.
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