Aviation - Avions NASA-Prototypes
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NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, California, is using this early-model F-18 Hornet as a flying research platform to evaluate a number of emerging technologies in aircraft control and information systems. The Systems Research Aircraft, a pre-production two-seat version of the twin-engine tactical fighter aircraft, has been extensively modified for its research role.Among projects flown on the plane are experiments to evaluate fiber optics for flight-critical control systems, advanced air data acquisition systems, and electrically-powered flight control actuators which do not require connection to the aircraft central hydraulic system. The new technologies could lead to lighter and more efficient aircraft designs with higher performance and greater safety.