Most people would look at the AD-1 Oblique Wing aircraft and think it's crazy.

Why is the wing at such a strange angle relative to the fuselage? If you think that's weird, get ready for the Oblique Flying Wing, basically the same as the AD-1 but with no fuselage -- a wing that points at an oblique angle relative to the direction of flight. DARPA is requesting proposals for a program called Switchblade that will explore the feasibility of building and controlling an OFW at low supersonic speeds.

The trick is that the optimal sway angle depends on the speed of the craft, which means that it has to change during flight... which means that the engines and any sensors/weapons systems on the aircraft have to pivot. Ultimately, there's talk of building a wing 400 feet long to carry passengers across continents at supersonic speeds.

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» DARPA aircraft: Flying Wing, Nothing Else from Zeitgeist

Citing the potential to combine high speed, long range and long endurance, the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has requested proposals to develop an oblique flying wing (OFW) technology demonstrator. The supersonic, tailless unmann... Read More



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