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X-33 Hypersonic Aerodynamic CharacteristicsLockheed Martin Skunk Works, under a cooperative agreement with NASA, will build and fly the X-33, a half-scale prototype of a rocket-based, single-stage-to-orbit (SSTO), reusable launch vehicle (RLV). A 0.007-scale model of the X-33 604B0002G configuration was tested in four hypersonic facilities at the NASA Langley Research Center to examine vehicle stability and control characteristics and to populate an aerodynamic flight database i n the hypersonic regime. The vehicle was found to be longitudinally controllable with less than half of the total body flap deflection capability across the angle of attack range at both Mach 6 and Mach 10. At these Mach numbers, the vehicle also was shown to be longitudinally stable or neutrally stable for typical (greater than 20 degrees) hypersonic flight attitudes. This configuration was directionally unstable and the use of reaction control jets (RCS) will be necessary to control the vehicle at high angles of attack in the hypersonic flight regime. Mach number and real gas effects on longitudinal aerodynamics were shown to be small relative to X-33 control authority.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Langley Research Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
Murphy, Kelly J.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Nowak, Robert J.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Thompson, Richard A.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Hollis, Brian R.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Prabhu, Ramadas K.
(Lockheed Martin Engineering and Sciences Co. Hampton, VA, United States)
Date Acquired
September 7, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1999
Subject Category
Avionics And Aircraft Instrumentation
Report/Patent Number
AIAA Paper 99-4162
Meeting Information
Meeting: AIAA Atmospheric Flight Mechanics Conference and Exhibit
Location: Portland, OR
Country: United States
Start Date: August 9, 1999
End Date: August 11, 1999
Sponsors: American Inst. of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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