Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Sweeping Forward

Today we present a couple'a photos showing one of the most visually striking aircraft to ever take flight... the Grumman X-29.

On this day back in 1984 Grumman test pilot Chuck Sewell took the first X-29 into the air for its maiden flight at Edwards Air Force Base in California. It had been more than a decade since an 'X' series aircraft had flown, and it would be a couple years shy of another decade before the program came to an end.

Two X-29s were constructed, based primarily on the Northrop F-5 airframe and incorporating completely new forward-swept wings. Their USAF serial numbers were 82-0003 and 82-0049. From 1984 to 1992, both X-29s made at least a couple hundred flights (the exact number eludes us, as every single reputable reference we've come across indicates a different number) testing flight performance of the the forward-swept-wing and its thin supercritical airfoil, variable camber wing surfaces, fly-by-wire control systems, and the use of new and novel materials such as composites in aircraft construction, among other things.

Anyhoo, this-here cyber-rag is more about the images than anything else, so here's a couple'a cool shots of the first X-29... enjoy.


First flight, of '003' December 14th, 1984.

USAF photo - Edwards AFB

And a super-groovy top-down view of '003' from 1985...

NASA photo

Fade to Black...

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