|October 11, 1995
Headquarters, Washington, DC
Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA
Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, CA
Langley Rel. 95-099 (Also Headquarters Rel. 95-175)
NASA FLIGHT TESTING BEGINS FOR F-18 NOSE STRAKES
NASA is flight testing a new aircraft control device that
promises to give fighter pilots of the future increased
maneuverability and agility in air combat situations.
Two moveable "flipper-like" panels called strakes have been
installed on the nose of an F-18 aircraft at NASA's Dryden Flight
Research Center, Edwards, Calif. When opened, the strakes (four
feet long, six inches wide, and hinged along the bottom edge)
interact with strong vortices of air generated by the nose of the
aircraft. This interaction produces side forces which can give a
pilot yaw (left or right) control of the aircraft's nose at high
angles of attack when conventional rudders lose their
"Angle of attack" is a term used to describe the angle of an
aircraft's body and wings in relation to its actual flight path.
During maneuvers, pilots often fly at extreme angles of attack,
with the nose pitched up while the aircraft continues in its
original direction. This can lead to conditions in which the flow
of air over the rudder is not enough for the pilot to maintain yaw
The strake project, called Actuated Nose Strakes for Enhanced
(ANSER) is managed by the NASA Langley Research Center,
Hampton, Va. The current flight project is validating extensive
wind tunnel and simulation data by Langley and NASA's Ames Research
Center, Moffett Field, Calif.
The strake testing is being carried out with the modified F-18
NASA has been using for high angle of attack studies at Dryden
since the late 1980s.
About 65 flights to study the strakes at various angles of
attack and speeds are planned before the ANSER project is scheduled
to conclude at the end of this year.
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