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Cranked Arrow Designs
The F-16XL was a unique design, utilizing a
Cranked arrow wing design. The bizarrely shaped wing combines the advantages of good lift at high speeds (the swept delta section) with the good maneuverability at lower speeds (the less-swept outer section). Additional benefits included a much greater fuel load, plus a very large assortment of hardpoints. The F-16XL carried twice the ordinance of a normal F-14 across 27 hardpoints, at almost twice the range.
The F-16XL was entered in the Enhanced Tactical Fighter contest, pitted against the F-15E Strike Eagle. Unfortunately for the F-16XL, the Strike Eagle won the contest, and the prototypes were shelved. Several years later, they were reactivated and given to NASA for aerodynamic research. Interestingly enough, the NASA F-16XL accidentally supercruised (Mach 1+ without afterburner) while testing a method of decreasing drag on the wings using a laser-perforated wing glove similar to a golf ball.
- Type: SPH
- Class: aircraft
- Part Count: 63
- Pure Stock
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