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
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Moller M400 Skycar
Convair XFY-1 POGO
H-4 Spruce Goose
Messerschmitt Me 323 Gigant