Aviation - Avions NASA-Prototypes
(La description de cette image n'existe qu'en anglais)
A Supersonic Laminar Flow Control (SLFC) experiment covering much of the top of the left wing (not visible in this photograph) is being conducted on NASA Dryden Flight Research Center's #2 F-16XL. The research program began back in October 1995 and this April 18, 1996 flight was one of many to gather data from the experimental wing panel on how to achieve laminar (smooth) airflow over the wing's surface at supersonic speeds. Researchers say that successful laminar flow on an aircraft the size of a future supersonic jetliner could help reduce gross takeoff weight by as much as 10 percent, leading to increased efficiency and lower operating costs. The laminar flow experiment on the delta-wing F-16XL features an internal suction system that pulls a small part of the boundary layer of air above the wing through millions of tiny laser-cut holes in the outer skin of the experiment, creating laminar flow. The research program is managed by NASA's Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va., and involves an aerospace industry team that includes Boeing, Rockwell, and McDonnell Douglas.