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For Release: August 1995

Keith Henry
(804) 864-6124

Release No. 95-082

Photo No. L-95-04049



NASA technician James Fay prepares a hypersonic model for wind tunnel tests at NASA Langley Research Center.

Research involving the development of futuristic hypersonic aircraft has yielded a new aircraft concept known as the"waverider." Waverider aircraft would be capable of flight at speeds ranging from Mach 4 to Mach 6.

The waverider series, to be powered by airbreathing hypersonic engines, have been envisioned as cruise missile carriers, high altitude reconnaissance vehicles, and long range strike and transport aircraft.

A swept-wing Mach 5 configuration known as the LoFlyte was developed for preliminary studies under the auspices of the NASA Small Business Innovative Research program. To supplement testing in the high-speed regime, subsonic low-speed wind tunnel tests were required.

A 0.062-scale, 8-ft.-long LoFlyte model was built by the Accurate Automation Corporation of Chattanooga, Tenn., and tested in NASA Langley’s 12-ft. Low-Speed Tunnel and 30 x 60-ft. Full-Scale Tunnel. The studies revealed that the configuration is aerodynamically sound through the low-speed regime.

The tests were some of the last to be performed in Langley’s historic 30 x 60-ft. Full-Scale Tunnel. The tunnel, designated a National Historic Landmark in 1985, will be officially closed Sept. 29.

PHOTO CREDIT: NASA or National Aeronautics and Space Administration

photo by Fred Jones

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