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Hank Caruso's Aerocatures[TM] sketchbook: the Navy's X-planes.



Navy X-planes? Were there any? Don't all X-planes belong to NASA and the Air Force? Although it never adopted the X-plane designation system, the Navy has nevertheless developed its share of experimental platforms that are every bit as exotic as those of its counterparts. These Aerocatures[TM] are a tribute to some of the U.S. Navy's experimental aircraft over the past six decades.

Chromakinetic Augmentation. The Douglas D-558-1 Skystreak, below, was designed to investigate the mysteriously turbulent transonic transonic

in ultrasonography, the complete transmission of sound so the image appears black; anechoic; echolucent.
 environment just below the speed of sound. To make the Skystreak go faster, it was painted with brilliant, gloss red paint. (The scientific principle by which red paint seems to make an airplane go faster is called "chromakinetic augmentation.") The Skystreak established a world speed record of over 640 mph on 20 August 1947. Here a Skystreak is shown passing a smoke signal that marks the starting gate for its record run.

Better Living Through Rhinoplasty Rhinoplasty Definition

The term rhinoplasty means "nose molding" or "nose forming." It refers to a procedure in plastic surgery in which the structure of the nose is changed.
. In August 2003 a strangely deformed Northrop Grumman F-5E, above, flew at Edwards AFB AFB
abbr.
acid-fast bacillus


AFB Acid-fast bacillus, also 1. Aflatoxin B 2. Aorto-femoral bypass
, Calif., to validate design strategies that might someday lead to quieter supersonic aircraft. As part of the Shaped Sonic Boom Demonstration The NASA Shaped Sonic Boom Demonstration, also known as the Shaped Sonic Boom Experiment, was a two-year program that used a Northrop F-5E with a modified fuselage to demonstrate that the aircraft's shockwave, and accompanying sonic boom, can be shaped, and thereby reduced.  program, NAVAIR NAVAIR Naval Air Systems Command , NASA, and DARPA DARPA: see Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.


(Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) The name given to the U.S. Advanced Research Projects Agency during the 1980s. It was later renamed back to ARPA.
 produced the first in-flight validation of hitherto untested theories about how modifying an aircraft's shape can affect sonic boom intensity. Measured test data matched the engineers' predictions, shown as the graph lines painted on the sides of the fuselage.

Just a Single Finalist. The Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) is the next-generation strike aircraft for the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Royal Air Force. The JSF combines enormous thrust, revolutionary sensors, low-observable technology, and short takeoff and vertical landing capability. Below, the X-35C prototype completes its final test flights in the setting sun over NAS (1) See network access server.

(2) (Network Attached Storage) A specialized file server that connects to the network. A NAS device contains a slimmed-down operating system and a file system and processes only I/O requests by supporting the popular
 Patuxent River, Md., in March 2001.

Going Up Was the Easy Part. In the late 1940s, the U.S. Navy envisioned turning hundreds of surface ships into miniature aircraft carriers by deploying fighters that could take off and land vertically. One of the candidates for this role was the Convair XFY 1 Pogo, above. Hanging from two huge counter-rotating propellers, the Pogo had no trouble rising vertically or transitioning to normal horizontal flight during its 1951-1955 flight testing program. The problem came when the pilot had to back the airplane down to the ground: rearward rear·ward 1  
adv.
Toward, to, or at the rear.

adj.
At or in the rear.

n.
A rearward direction, point, or position.



rear
 visibility was nearly nonexistent non·ex·is·tence  
n.
1. The condition of not existing.

2. Something that does not exist.



non
 and vertical depth perception was nil. Shipboard operations would have been impossible.

Splash and Goes. During the 1950s, the U.S. Navy saw a bright future for seaplanes in fighter, bomber, and transport roles. One of the most exciting seaplane designs was Convair's XF2Y-1 Sea Dart, a twin-engine, jet-propelled fighter that took off from and landed on water. This meant that, in theory, 70% of the earth could be used as a runway. Although not without problems, the Sea Dart flight testing program (1952-1957) was an interesting technology experiment. But the Sea Dart was eventually canceled, along with the rest of the U.S. Navy's seaplane programs.
COPYRIGHT 2005 Department of the Navy, Naval Historical Center
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2005, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:fighter planes
Publication:Naval Aviation News
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2005
Words:501
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