By Dennis R Jenkins, Tony Landis, Jay Miller
For your time, it appeared the sequence of experimental plane subsidized through the U.S. executive had run its direction. among the overdue Forties and the past due Nineteen Seventies, virtually thirty designations were allotted to airplane intended to discover new flight regimes or untried applied sciences. Then, principally, it ended. yet there has been a resurgence within the mid- to past due- Nineteen Nineties, and as we input the fourth yr of the recent millennia, the designations are as much as X-50.
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This plywood vehicle was towed behind various trucks and cars to get airborne, and proved the basic concept. NASA then awarded a contract to Northrop to build a metal version called the M2-F2, powered by a Reaction Motors XLR11 rocket engine left over from the X-15 program. After a serious crash on 10 May 1967 the airframe was rebuilt as the M2-F3 with a central vertical stabilizer that largely cured an earlier stability problem. The HL-10 was a totally different shape, but shared many common systems with the M2-F2/3 and was also powered by an XLR11.
After its single test flight, the Air Force gave the X-40A to NASA for use as a prototype of the X-37 vehicle, and the X-40A arrived at the Dryden Flight Research Center on 26 May 2000. In a concurrent test program to support the low-speed atmospheric flight dynamics of the X-37 design, the X-40A successfully completed its flight test program with seven successful flights at Edwards. During the series of flights, the unmanned X-40A was released from a CH 47 Chinook helicopter at 15,000 feet, and it autonomously acquired the runway and landed in a mode similar to a conventional aircraft.
During the SDD phase, 22 aircraft (14 flying test aircraft and 8 ground-test aircraft) will be pro duced and tested. The JSF program is slated to produce a total of 3,002 aircraft for the United States and United Kingdom armed forces, and possibly additional aircraft for new members Italy, Turkey, Canada, Denmark, Norway, and the Netherlands. Other countries have expressed an interest in joining the program and are expected to do so in the coming years. The program is potentially worth $200 billion after all the export orders are considered.