Friday, July 03, 2009

Thematic Photographic 56: "Aviation" v.3.0


"Unidentified Flying Object, National Air and Space Museum"
Washington, DC - April, 1999 (Click to embiggen)

Thematic Photographic hosted by Carmi - Button Image by Smarmoofus Hosted by Written Inc.

One of the more worthwhile places to visit in Washington, DC is the National Air and Space Museum. In yesterday's Thematic entry I featured the beginning of aviation as we know it courtesy of that very museum. But it also features some fanciful designs that may or may not have ever made it into production. This is one of those. Any of you airplane buffs out there know what this is? From this angle I can't tell enough about it to identify it, but it sure looks racy enough.

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1 comment:

Carmi said...

That's an X-29 - and wow am I excited to see it for real, as it's always been a mythical craft IMHO. It was built as a technology demonstrator designed to explore the benefits of forward swept wings. Compared to conventionally swept wings, these are much more resistant to stalling.

The catch? It is so unstable that it needs computers to constantly adjust its control surfaces. If the computers fail, the craft would break up in a fraction of a second.

The X-29 uses the basic airframe of another one of my all-time faves, the F-5 (which is also the same basic design as the T-38 trainers used so famously by NASA astronauts.)

Happy sigh...