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F-16XL (Ship #1)
April 19, 2011

F-16XL number one in flight NASA's single-seat F-16XL (ship #1), tail number 849, was stationed at Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, CA. It arrived at Dryden in March 1989, from General Dynamics in Fort Worth, TX. and was retired in April of 2009.

The F-16XL aircraft were built by General Dynamics Corp. as prototypes for a derivative fighter evaluation program conducted by the Air Force between 1982 and 1985. The aircraft were developed from basic F-16 airframes. The most notable difference is the delta (cranked arrow) wing that gives the aircraft a greater range because of increased fuel capacity in the wing tanks, and a larger load capability due to increased wing area.

The single-seat F-16XL aircraft was powered by a Pratt and Whitney F100-PW-200 engine (with afterburner), rated at 23,830 lb thrust, and features an analog fly-by-wire electronic flight control system (upgraded with a new Digital Flight Control System (DFCS) in 1997). The DFCS upgrade allowed NASA's F-16XL-1 the flexibility needed to perform experiments which required major new flight control functions or capabilities. The delta (cranked arrow) wings provided strength for high wing loads during flight. The aircraft's dimensions are: length, 54 ft 2 in (16.51 m); wingspan, 34 ft 3 in (10.45 m); height at vertical tail, 17 ft 7 in (5.36 m). The aircraft's maximum weight is 48,000 lb (17915.60 kg). It had a design load of 9 g's (3 g's, in the research configuration) and a top design speed of Mach 1.8.
 


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