Oblique Wing

wpid12596-C59F2972.jpgHiller Aviation Museum has another aircraft I find interesting. This is the AD-1 Oblique Wing research aircraft from NASA. I have crossed paths with this machine before. I have seen it at Hiller before but it was also still at Edwards when I paid a visit to the NASA facility there in 1990. The oblique wing concept is an interesting one. Swing wing aircraft aim to combine he low speed and high speed characteristics required into one plane by having multiple wing sweep angles. The oblique wing approach aims to simplify this by having a single wing that pivots. The sweep angle is the same but eh CG is unaffected and the pivot mechanism much simpler.

wpid12578-CRW_9972.jpgForward swept wings are fine so, while the oblique wing looks odd, it should be practical. It will have some interesting aeroelastic issues to be dealt with but, it should be possible to engineer. Whether it will then deliver the benefits has never been tested. The AD-1 was a low speed research aircraft only but it flew many times over the years it was in service. Now it hangs from the roof of the museum.


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