Press Release

NASA’s Dryden research center develops the first A in NASA

By SpaceRef Editor
December 13, 2001
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Modern jet airliners fly faster and more efficiently, saving time, fossil
fuels, and air quality, because of an innovative supercritical wing shape
tested at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center in California’s Mojave
Desert.

Today, many commercial aircraft use computerized flight controls to enhance
safe and efficient flight characteristics. The first computer flight control
aircraft was a modified F-8 Crusader jet flown at NASA Dryden in the 1970s
to prove the concept.

Winglets, upturned tips visible on some new jet transports, are another
efficiency innovation pioneered at Dryden.

Meanwhile, Dryden engineers and research pilots have been busy exploring new
ways to predict clear air turbulence before an airliner encounters it, as
well as ways to keep a crippled aircraft under control by capitalizing on
the capabilities of the onboard computers.

A long list of practical aeronautical achievements that benefit the public
can be found in the accomplishments of the Dryden Flight Research Center at
Edwards, Calif. To develop stories on these and other interesting NASA
Dryden topics, editors may contact: Beth Hagenauer, Public Affairs
Specialist, (661) 276-7960, beth.hagenauer@dfrc.nasa.gov or Alan Brown,
Public Affairs Specialist, (661) 276-2665, alan.brown@dfrc.nasa.gov

Downloadable high-resolution still photography of NASA Dryden topics is
available in the Gallery section of the Dryden web site at www.dfrc.nasa.gov
and video b-roll may be requested by editors by calling Public Affairs at
(661) 276-3449.

SpaceRef staff editor.