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XF-92A on Ramp, NASA history collection


XF-92A on Ramp, NASA history collection



This NACA High-Speed Flight Research Station photograph of the XF-92A was taken at the South Base of Edwards Air Force Base. The photograph is a straight-on view of the aircraft and provides a good view of the fuselage and delta wings. The right delta wing and aft fuselage of the XF-92A has some tufts attached for airflow analysis. The Convair XF-92A aircraft was powered by a Allison J33-A turbojet engine with an afterburner, and was unique in having America's first delta wing. The delta wing's large area, thin airfoil cross section, low weight, and structural strength made this design a promising combination for a supersonic airplane. The Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation (Convair) XF-92A Dart was America's first delta wing aircraft. It was built as a test bed for a proposed interceptor that never materialized. The XF-92A was then continued to test the delta-wing concept. The delta wing's large area (425 square feet), thin airfoil cross section, low weight, and structural strength made a great combination for a supersonic aircraft. The aircraft was powered by an Allison J33-A-29 turbojet engine with an afterburner. Convair and the U.S. Air Force flew the XF-92A from 1948 to 1953. After the Air Force's plans for an interceptor failed to materialize, the NACA High-Speed Flight Research Station, which had supplied engineering, instrumentation, and operational assistance to the Air Force during its flights, took over the flight test program in 1953. A. Scott Crossfield flew all 25 NACA flights of the NACA's XF-92A program over a six-month test period. The original XF-92A ship had a severe pitch-up problem but was tested with different wing-fence combinations to gather data on their contribution to solving that problem. The pilot also reported that the aircraft was sluggish and underpowered. Besides validating the thin delta wing principle, the XF-92A played a major role in supporting the development of the Convair F-102A interceptor, the Air Force's first attempt at an all-weather, supersonic interceptor. In 1953, the XF-92A experienced a landing gear failure on rollout after landing at the NACA High-Speed Research Station and the aircraft was retired. The single-place XF-92A airplane had a delta wing swept at 60 degrees. It was 48.2 feet long, had a 31.3-foot wingspan, and was 17.5 feet high at the tip of the vertical stabilizer. It was controlled by a conventional rudder and full-span elevons that functioned as elevators and ailerons.
NASA Identifier: NIX-E-953





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The objects in this collection are from The U.S. National Archives and Defense Visual Information Distribution Service. The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) was established in 1934 by President Franklin Roosevelt. NARA keeps those Federal records that are judged to have continuing value—about 2 to 5 percent of those generated in any given year. There are approximately 10 billion pages of textual records; 12 million maps, charts, and architectural and engineering drawings; 25 million still photographs and graphics; 24 million aerial photographs; 300,000 reels of motion picture film; 400,000 video and sound recordings; and 133 terabytes of electronic data. The Defense Visual Information Distribution Service provides a connection between world media and the American military personnel serving at home and abroad. All of these materials are preserved because they are important to the workings of Government, have long-term research worth, or provide information of value to citizens.

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