Monday, June 1, 2009

Dryden After the Storm

While waiting at the Public Affairs Office at Dryden FRC for the media excursion to Shuttle Atlantis last Friday, which was canceled because of the weather, I took the opportunity to shoot the aircraft on display in their parking lot. I already have shots taken on previous visits when the conditions were much nicer, but the atmosphere was decidedly moody and I thought I would see what I could do with some "artsy" angles.

This is the Northrop HL-10, one of the lifting body experimental aircraft tested at Edwards during the 1960s. The success of those tests led to the development of the Space Shuttle. The HL-10 was the highest flying and fastest of the four configuration types flown. It looked very dramatic against the gray clouds.

The Vought F-8 Super-Critical Wing (SCW) aircraft looked at reducing drag near the speed of sound (Mach 1) by lowering the effect of the shock waves that are created on the upper surface of the wing. The successful results of those tests were incorporated in commercial transports and other sub-sonic aircraft. While this angle doesn't give you a good look at the entire wing, it does highlight the blunt leading edge and shaping at the wing root. I found the resulting curves intriguing.

I did not go out to Dryden today to see Atlantis. Too much to do at work today. Oh, well....

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