Walk into NASA Armstrong’s Sub-scale Research Lab and see the future of flight in miniature. The lab’s model airplanes are used to test cutting edge aeronautical ideas like crash-avoidance and more efficient rocket launches.
NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, California, helped advance the agency’s overall missions of aeronautics research, Earth and space science and aerospace technology during 2015. Established 69 years ago, Armstrong is NASA’s center of excellence for atmospheric flight research.
Engineers at Armstrong are working on an increasingly complex remotely piloted aircraft concept called the Preliminary Research Aerodynamic Design to Lower Drag, or Prandtl-D.
The design of the aircraft features a new method for determining the shape of the wing with a twist that could lead to an 11-percent reduction in fuel consumption.he concept may also lead to significantly enhanced controllability that could eliminate the need for a vertical tail and potentially to new aircraft designs.