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NASA AD-1 slew wing aircraft

NASA AD-1 slew wing aircraft

NASA AD-1 slew wing aircraft

The NASA AD-1 of 1979 was an oblique-wing aircraft developed by NASA's Ames and Dryden research centres - hence the 'AD' in the aircraft's title.

Oblique (or slew) wings offer several benefits over conventional fixed wing aircraft. During takeoff and landing the wing is fixed in a conventional position, crossing the fuselage in a symmetrical manner. This position offers greater lift at lower speeds. At cruising speeds the AD-1 performs its party trick, the wing slowly rotates around a central pivot at a rate of 3 degrees per second to a maximum angle of 60 degrees. In the slewed position the wing creates less drag and allows for a higher top speed.

The NASA AD-1 was powered by two small turbojets mounted to the fuselage on small pods. The slew wing design featured on the AD-1 was considered for production on a futuristic supersonic airliner. However the plans were dropped before they had a chance to get off the ground.

The NASA AD-1 was retired after 3 years and 79 flights in 1982.

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