X-29A Subsystems Integration - An Example for Future Aircraft 881504
The X-29A is the first X-series experimental aircraft developed in the United States since the mid-sixties. The X-29A is a technology demonstrator aircraft that integrates several different-technologies into one airframe. Among the technologies demonstrated are the aeroservoelastically tailored composite forward swept wings, close coupled canards, discrete variable camber wing, triplex digital flight control system with analog backup, thin supercritical wing, three surface pitch control, large negative static margin and the integration of these technologies into the X-29 airframe.
This paper deals with the issue of technology integration of five of the X-29A subsystems and the early design decision to use existing aircraft, components whenever and wherever possible. The subsystems described are the X-29 aircraft Hydraulics System, the Electrical Power System, the Emergency Power System, the Aircraft Mounted Accessory Drive and the Environmental Control System. The decision, to use existing components, resulted in a series of laboratory system demonstration efforts that were responsible for the testing and design validation of the subsystems that were to be used on the X-29.
The X-29A design utilizes components from over thirty different aircraft. Many of the components used on the X-29 have been used on more than one aircraft. This paper will describe the process that was used to select components, design the subsystem, test the system in a laboratory environment where required and finally test the completed subsystem on the aircraft.
The final part of this paper will deal with the results to date as well as the flight test history of the five subsystems on the X-29A. It will be demonstrated that after over 200 flights the X-29 has had a remarkable operational flying record. The X-29 has set a record for the highest flight rate, in terms of flights per week, for the high speed /performance X-series aircraft. There have been no lost flights caused by inadequate design of any of the five subsystems that are discussed in this paper. In addition there have been no redesigns of any of the five subsystems since the first flight.