The NASA AD-1 Oblique Wing Research Aircraft

The NASA AD-1 was an experimental project to determine the efficiency of a wing that could be pivoted up to 60 degrees during flight. The plane was developed by experimental aircraft designer Burt Rutan and manufactured by the Ames Industrial Corporation of New York (which has no relation to NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field).

During takeoff and landing the wing would remain perpendicular to the fuselage to provide typical aircraft lift and control surfaces. However, during high-speed flight the wing would pivot along the fuselage to reduce drag, which then increased speed, range and fuel efficiency.

The AD-1 flew from NASA’s Dryden (now Armstrong) research facility at Edwards, CA from 1979 to 1982. Over a series of 79 research flights, the AD-1 provided valuable data regarding the aerodynamics of oblique wing aircraft.

Take a look at this Lego AD-1 that a fan designed and built! (Opens in a new tab on the Lego website)

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