Aviation - Avions NASA-Prototypes
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NASA's F-18 from the Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, California, soars over the Mojave Desert while flying the third phase of the HARV (High Alpha Research Vehicle) program. This is a closer look at the set of control surfaces called strakes that were installed in the nose of the aircraft. The strakes, outlined in gold and white, are expected to provide improved yaw control at steep angles of attack. Normally folded flush, the units -- four feet long and six inches wide -- can be opened independently to interact with the nose vortices to produce large side forces for control. Testing involved evaluation of the strakes by themselves as well as combined with the aircraft's Thrust Vectoring System. The strakes were designed by NASA's Langley Research Center, then installed and flight tested at Dryden.