This aircraft paper model is a Grumman X-29 fighter, an experimental aircraft that tested a forward-swept wing, canard control surfaces, and other novel aircraft technologies, the papercraft was created by Mame Craft. The aerodynamic instability of this arrangement increased agility but required the use of computerized fly-by-wire control. Composite materials were used to control the aeroelastic divergent twisting experienced by forward-swept wings, also reducing the weight. Developed by Grumman, the X-29 first flew in 1984 and two X-29s were flight tested over the next decade.
The first X-29 was taken aloft on 14 December 1984 from Edwards AFB with Grumman’s Chief Test Pilot Chuck Sewell at the controls. With that flight, the X-29 became the second jet-powered aircraft to fly with forward swept wings. On 13 December 1985, one of the X-29s became the first forward swept wing aircraft to fly in supersonic, level flight. The X-29 began a NASA test program only four months after its first flight. The X-29 proved very reliable, and by August 1986 was involved in flying research missions lasting more than three hours. The first X-29 was not equipped with a spin recovery parachute, as it was not expected to go into a spin. The second X-29 was given such a parachute and was involved in a high angle-of-attack research program. The NASA test program continued from 1984 to 1991. By the time the first X-29 was retired in 1986, it had been flown 242 times.
The first X-29 produced is now on display in the R&D/Flight Test Hangar at the National Museum of the United States Air Force on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio. The other craft is on display at the Dryden Flight Research Center on Edwards Air Force Base. A full scale model was on display from 1989 to 2011 at the National Air and Space Museum’s National Mall building in Washington, DC.
- Crew: one pilot
- Payload: 4,000 lb (1,810 kg)
- Length: 48 ft 1 in (14.7 m)
- Wingspan: 27 ft 2 in (8.29 m)
- Height: 14 ft 9 in (4.26 m)
- Wing area: 188.8 ft² (17.54 m²)
- Empty weight: 13,800 lb (6,260 kg)
- Max. takeoff weight: 17,800 lb (8,070 kg)
- Powerplant: 1 × General Electric F404 turbofan, 16,000 lbf (71.2 kN)
- Maximum speed: Mach 1.8 (1,100 mph, 1,770 km/h at 33,000 ft (10,000 m))
- Range: 350 mi (560 km)
- Service ceiling: 55,000 ft (16,800 m)
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