Overview of Supersonic Laminar Flow Control Research on the F-16XL Ships 1 and 2 921994
NASA is directing research to develop technology for a high-speed civil transport. Supersonic laminar flow control has been identified as a program element, since it offers significant drag-reduction benefits and is one of the more promising technologies for producing an economically viable aircraft design. NASA is using two prototype F-16XL aircraft to research supersonic laminar flow control. The F-16XL planform is similar to design planforms of high-speed civil transports. The planform makes the aircraft ideally suited for developing technology pertinent to high-speed transports. This paper describes the supersonic laminar flow control research programs for both aircraft. Some general results of the ship-1 program presented in the paper demonstrate that significant laminar flow was obtained using laminar flow control on a highly swept wing at supersonic speeds.