It looked like someone had installed the wings on backwards, and it was so unstable in flight that no pilot could fly it without the help of a computer, but the X-29A was a marvel in its day and provided research information useful for many aircraft designs still to come.
A pair of the Grumman-built X-29A experimental aircraft flew 436 times between December 1984 and August 1992, with all but 14 of those trips into the air serving as research flights – a record for X-planes at that time.
One of the strangest looking airplanes ever flown in modern times, its extraordinary story is told in "Sweeping Forward: Developing and Flight Testing the Grumman X-29A Forward Swept Wing Research Aircraft," a publication in NASA's aeronautics book series.
The 328-page book was written by Frederick Johnsen, a former NASA public affairs director of the Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., and recently retired director of the Air Force Flight Test Center Museum.
Download your copy of this and other e-Books at http://www.nasa.gov/ebooks
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