Air International 1986-02
??? - AFTI Gets Airborne
Cleaned-up for cruising flight, the AFTI/F-111 reveals the wing aerofoil with little camber on leading or trailing edges.
Illustrated on its first flight, made at Edwards AFB on 18 October 1985, the Advanced Fighter Technology Integration (AFTI) aircraft is a General Dynamics F-111A fitted with a Mission Adaptive Wing (MAW) manufactured by Boeing in Seattle. In this photograph, the wing is adapted for low speed, with maximum deflection of the leading and trailing edges.
Before being fitted to the F-111, the port wing is shown undergoing a ground check-out, with protractors indicating that the trailing edge is deflected to 21 deg. Note that the wing surface is sufficiently flexible to allow for this degree of deflection and that drag-producing gaps between the wing and the flaps are thus avoided.
The F-111 serial 63-39778 was previously used at the DFRF for supercritical wing research, as shown here, in the Transonic Aircraft Technology (TACT) programme.
The new wing and its control system were designed and manufactured for the F-111, under joint USAF/NASA contract, by Boeing Military Airplane Company at Seattle. The aircraft is shown undergoing pre-flight testing.