The HiMAT (Highly Maneuverable Aircraft Technology) was
an unmanned research aircraft flown by the NASA Dryden
Flight Research Center, Edwards, California from 1979
HiMAT was used to help develop advanced technologies and
systems used in many modern high performance aircraft.
Two examples of HiMAT were used in the research program
conducted jointly by NASA and the Air Force Flight Dynamics
Laboratory, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. The two aircraft,
flown a total of 26 times, provided data on the use of
composites, aeroelastic tailoring, close-coupled canards
and winglets, and investigated the interaction of these
then-new technologies upon each other.
About one-half the size of a standard manned fighter jet
and powered by a General Electric J85-21 jet engine, the
HiMAT aircraft were launched from NASA's B-52 carrier
aircraft at an altitude of about 45,000 feet. They were
flown remotely by a NASA research pilot from a ground
station with the aid of a television camera mounted in
the HiMAT cockpits.
Technologies tested on the HiMAT vehicles appearing later
on other aircraft include the extensive use of composites
common now on military and commercial aircraft; rear-mounted
wing and forward canard configuration used very successfully
on the X-29 research aircraft flown at Dryden; and winglets,
now used on many private and commercial aircraft to lessen
wingtip drag and enhance fuel savings. The supersonic
research vehicles were 21.1 feet long, 15.2 feet wide,
and had a top speed of Mach 1.4.
Similar and related vehicles:
Moller M400 Skycar
Convair XFY-1 POGO
Lockheed XFV-1 Salmon
Canadair CL-84 Dynavert