643 Test 291 - Sailwing AR-6 (Fink)

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There were two separate tests of the Sailwing concept (see also Test 281: Princeton Sailwing (Fink)). Marvin P. "Mike" Fink was the NASA project engineer for both tests. This second test in 1967 was for a wing and framework fuselage.

Dr. Robert Ormiston was a graduate student intern involved in tests with the sailwing. His dissertation lead to an article in the AIAA Journal of Aircraft. In that, he explains "The sailwing is a unique type of semiflexible foldable wing which has been under development at Princeton Univeristy since 1948. The practical potential of the sailwing has spurred experimental and analytical research in many areas, including aerodynamics, longitudinal stability and lateral control...Possible applications such as auxiliary wings for air cushion vehicles, towed cargo gliders, foldable light aircraft, rocket booster recovery aids, lifting body re-entry vehicles, and compound helicopters have been studied." Bob is the Aeromechanics Chief Scientist for the Army at Moffett Field.

Bob reports that he and fellow student John Mercer came to NASA with their advisor, Tom Sweeney. Tom, head of the Princeton flight concepts laboratory, was the originator of the Sailwing concept. He led the Princeton test team supporting the Langley Full-Scale Tunnel tests but does not appear in any of the photos.


The first three photos below show project engineer Mike Fink inspecting the wing/frame model tested. The last two show the model in position.


Documents


Fink, M.P., "Full-Scale Investigation of the Aerodynamic Characteristics of a Sailwing of Aspect Ratio 5.9," February 1969

Ormiston, Robert A., "Theoretical and Experimental Aerodynamics of the Sailwing," J. Aircraft, Vol. 8, No 2, February 1971, pp. 77-84

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