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New X Plane: Lockheed Martin X-56 MUTT (Multi-Utility Technology Testbed)

Mike Pryce

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From Aviation Week:


http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story.jsp?id=news/asd/2012/02/01/02.xml&headline=USAF%20Reveals%20Latest%20X-Plane:%20X-56A&channel=defense

 

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Stargazer2006

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Matej said:
Funny that about a week ago I was thinking about creating a topic, how long we will be waiting for a new X-plane :)

Well, the pace of new designations has been faster in the X-series than any other series in the DoD inventory, really. Only one (official) new fighter designation in 20 years, no bomber at all, a handful of transports and helos, but X-planes?? 25 in 20 years!
 
A

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I'm personally looking forward to seeing how well these active flutter suppression and other aero-elastic technologies develop in the future. Such systems could really help in increasing the service lives and the efficiency of high endurance reconnaissance systems and the like.
 

quellish

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Stargazer2006 said:
Well, the pace of new designations has been faster in the X-series than any other series in the DoD inventory, really. Only one (official) new fighter designation in 20 years, no bomber at all, a handful of transports and helos, but X-planes?? 25 in 20 years!

I have been hearing for a few months that we should be seeing the Gulfstream X-54 at Edwards..... soon.
 

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enjoy
 

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flateric

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Introducing the X-56A MUTT: Who Let the Dog Out?


03.06.12

NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center soon will have a new dog in the yard, and it's a real MUTT. That's short for the Multi-Use Technology Testbed, a small unmanned aircraft being developed by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory to test technologies that will be needed for new kinds of lightweight, flexible aircraft.


MUTT is one of the Air Force's newest X-planes, designated X-56A. The 7.5-foot-long aircraft has a 28-foot wingspan and will be powered by two 52-pound thrust JetCat P200-SX turbine engines. It is being built in California under contract to Lockheed Martin Corp., which will conduct the flight experiments for the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).


Dryden will oversee the flights for AFRL during summer 2012, and then take ownership of the X-56A MUTT for follow-on research after the Air Force tests are finished in early autumn.


“Flexible wings and fuselages can result in significant reductions in the structural weight of aircraft,” says Gary Martin, deputy project manager for NASA's Subsonic Fixed Wing Project at Dryden.


But unlike the short, stiff wings found on most aircraft today, long, thin wings like those on the X-56A are susceptible to uncontrollable vibrations, called flutter, that result from the force of air flowing over them. Thin wings can also be stressed by bending forces from wind gusts and atmospheric turbulence.


“To maintain the long-term health of the structure and ride quality in a more flexible airplane, we need to actively alleviate gust loads on the airplane and suppress flutter, so gust load alleviation and active flutter suppression are two of the key technologies that NASA is working to advance,” Martin said.


MUTT is designed to address this problem by enabling engineers to practice suppressing flutter by adjusting software programs in the aircraft’s flight control computer. With MUTT, researchers also expect to learn how better to ease gust loads, which will make flexible airplanes safer when they experience in-flight turbulence.


Although the X-56A MUTT is a low-speed, subsonic, sub-scale research aircraft, aircraft that fly faster than the speed of sound also can benefit from this research. The knowledge gained about flutter and gust suppression will be used in designing the proposed supersonic X-54, an aircraft that will demonstrate sonic boom-quieting technologies that could someday alleviate the noise concerns currently preventing supersonic commercial flight over land in the United States.



Gray Creech, public affairs
NASA Dryden Flight Research Center


- Artist's rendering of X-56A MUTT aircraft. (AFRL/Lockheed image)
- Artist's rendering of X-56A MUTT package, consisting of the aircraft with three additional wing sets and a second fuselage/mid-body (center), flanked by the ground control station on the left and the air vehicle storage/transport trailer on the right. (AFRL/Lockheed image)


http://www.nasa.gov/topics/aeronautics/features/x-56a_mutt.html
 

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Stargazer2006

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flateric

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"Under construction at GFMI in Fountain View CA
First flight planned for August of 2012
After AFRL/Lockheed flights becomes NASA asset"
 

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flateric

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is it only me who thinks that X-56A was already quietly flown back in 2012? or it's just a good CGI?
 

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Stargazer2006

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flateric said:
is it only me who thinks that X-56A was already quietly flown back in 2012?

I could be wrong, but I don't think anyone said it didn't in this topic. The flight was planned for some time in 2012, and so it took place some time in 2012.
 

flateric

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li'l brother

"Lockheed Martin/Air Force Research Laboratory’s Body Freedom Flutter aircraft, built by Lockheed Martin.
This vehicle was designed to test the limits of aircraft structures, including the point of destructive flutter. The
crash is therefore not an accident, but the end result of this test. This kind of flight research cannot be conducted with
piloted vehicles and is cost prohibitive with full-scale vehicles. SOURCE: Courtesy of Jeff Beranek, Lockheed Martin."
 

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overscan (PaulMM)

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"At Lockheed we have a unparalleled record of developing planes that crash. Just look at the F-104."
 

flateric

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it's was planned destruction of wing structure
 

AeroFranz

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might be a good way of checking your analytical tools, as in how close can you predict ultimate load factor.
Or at least get cool pictures!
 

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Sometimes in order to get better at flying, you have to practice crashing.
 

Stargazer2006

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dannydale said:
Sometimes in order to get better at flying, you have to practice crashing.

The merits of trial and error. It can NEVER be replaced by computer modelisation!
 

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Stargazer2006 said:
dannydale said:
Sometimes in order to get better at flying, you have to practice crashing.

The merits of trial and error. It can NEVER be replaced by computer modelisation!


Actually in many cases computer simulation CAN replace physical trial and error.
 

flateric

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NTRS has some new MUTT papers
 

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Retrofit

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flateric said:
li'l brother

"Lockheed Martin/Air Force Research Laboratory’s Body Freedom Flutter aircraft, built by Lockheed Martin.
This vehicle was designed to test the limits of aircraft structures, including the point of destructive flutter. The
crash is therefore not an accident, but the end result of this test. This kind of flight research cannot be conducted with
piloted vehicles and is cost prohibitive with full-scale vehicles. SOURCE: Courtesy of Jeff Beranek, Lockheed Martin."
Has this single engine scaled model a "X-56x" reference and have its dimensions published somewhere?
 

flateric

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/p_freeman/sets/72157631905041604/
 

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;D

New drone managed from Wright-Patt tested

The X-56A Multi-Utility Technology Testbed takes off on its inaugural flight July 26 at Edwards AFB, Calif. The unmanned aircraft is designed to study active aeroelastic control technologies such as active flutter suppression and gust load alleviation. (NASA photo by Kenneth E. Ulbrich)

By Barrie Barber

Staff Writer

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE —

An unmanned aerial vehicle tested by the Air Force could mean longer ranges and heavier payloads which could have uses in both civilian and military roles, researchers say.

The X-56A Multi-Utility Technology Testbed, an Air Force Research Laboratory program managed at Wright-Patterson, launched last month on a test flight for the first time at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., officials said Monday.

The Air Force is working in tandem with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and aerospace giant Lockheed Martin on the $18 million research effort.

Researchers had spent more than three years preparing the aircraft for flight prior to take-off July 26, said Peter Flick, AFRL program manager at Wright-Patterson.

“It felt awesome to be finally able to get the aircraft in the air,” he said in a conference call Monday with reporters.

The first 14-minute flight of the 480-pound, two jet engine aircraft ended successfully, officials said.

The Air Force is testing the aircraft in real world conditions to determine how well it handles “flutter”or the instability of vibration and wobbling in flight that could lead to wings snapping.

“We set out to develop this aircraft and it had to be relatively inexpensive because we were going to put it at risk,” he said.

Aircraft builders typically increase the strength of wings to handle flutter, raising the weight of the vehicle. The tests will explore the capability of both a “stiffer” wing and more lightweight and flexible fiberglass wing alternative to fly higher, faster and further.

The Air Force could use the technology in surveillance drones.

The military will turn the UAV over to NASA at Dryden Research Center at Edwards at the end of the year for additional flight tests.

http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/news/local-military/new-drone-managed-from-wright-patt-tested/nZFRb/
 

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codeone

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New photos and feature article by Jeff Rhodes on the X-56 posted on Code One website:

http://www.codeonemagazine.com/index.html
 

Triton

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Published on Aug 2, 2013

Lockheed Martin Skunk Works video explaining the background to and mission of the X-56A experimental unmanned aircraft, which flew for the first time on July 26 at NASA Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards AFB, California. The X-56A will test active flutter control and gust-load alleviation technology that will allow slender, flexible wings for low drag and long endurance.

http://youtu.be/ozLHwW7kI8s
 

bring_it_on

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Creating a Test-Validated Finite-Element Model of the X-56A Aircraft Structure - AIAA Sept-Oct 2015

https://www.scribd.com/doc/285814710/Creating-a-Test-Validated-Finite-Element-Model-of-the-X-56A-Aircraft-Structure?secret_password=80nZffMBrpNBlxwKmaiA
 

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