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Lockheed Martin X-56A (MUTT)

Experimental Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)

Lockheed Martin X-56A (MUTT)

Experimental Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)

OVERVIEW
SPECIFICATIONS
ARMAMENT
VARIANTS
HISTORY
MEDIA
OVERVIEW



The Lockheed X-56A unmanned experimental air vehicle is being used by NASA to further research active flutter control.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: United States
YEAR: 2013
STATUS: Active, Limited Service
MANUFACTURER(S): Lockheed Martin - USA
PRODUCTION: 2
OPERATORS: United States
SPECIFICATIONS



Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Lockheed Martin X-56A (MUTT) model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
CREW: 0
WIDTH: 27.89 feet (8.5 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 485 pounds (220 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 485 pounds (220 kilograms)
ENGINE: 2 x JetCat P400 turbojet engines developing 90lb of thrust each.
SPEED (MAX): 172 miles-per-hour (277 kilometers-per-hour; 150 knots)




ARMAMENT



None.
VARIANTS



Series Model Variants
• X-56A - Base Series Designation
• "Fido" - First prototype nickname
• "Buckeye" - Second prototype nickname


HISTORY



Detailing the development and operational history of the Lockheed Martin X-56A (MUTT) Experimental Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).  Entry last updated on 11/1/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
Flutter affects the wing assemblies of any aircraft at speed, causing a violent oscillation to take place which ultimately destroys the wing and, of course, the aircraft. For decades, the solution has been to use rigid wings which added weight, increased fuel consumption and drag and limited operational range. Today, Lockheed Martin (in conjunction with NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards AFB California) is using its X-56A test aircraft, complete with an active flutter suppression system coupled to specially-designed flexible wings, in an attempt to counter the forces of "aeroelasticity". First flight of the X-56A was recorded in July of 2013. The vehicle features a wingspan of 28 feet, weighs 480lbs and can reach speeds of 150 knots (flutter is expected around 110 knots). The X-56A incorporates a parachute system for recovery should its experimental wings fall to uncontrollable forces during flight.

The X-56A is designed as a "flying wing" blended body air vehicle with vertical surfaces added at the wingtips. The fuselage houses the twin-engine arrangement, avionics and fuel stores while the undercarriage is of a conventional wheeled tricycle arrangement. Power is served through 2 x JetCat P400 turbojet engines mounted along the top rear of the fuselage. Lockheed has produced a pair of X-56A fuselages with a modular wing system to make use two different wing types - one rigid and another flexible - both featuring active flutter suppression sensors and controls. For early testing, a basic rigid wing is being used to see verify the validity of the rigid-wing arrangement. The flexible wings will feature glass-fiber construction an active flutter controlling while the finalized rigid wings (with their own anti-flutter controls) will be tested in early 2014.

The project hopes to provide clues in the containment of the violent effects inherent in flutter during flight, encouraging the growth of more fuel efficient, longer-range aircraft for both civil and military markets. The X-56A program is expected to cover some five years of research in which Lockheed will manage twenty flights prior to handoff to NASA personnel for formal flexible wing research.

Two X-56 vehicles were built for the flight-testing program. The first has been named "Fido" and the Second "Buckeye".




PROGRAM UPDATES

July 2013 - A first-flight involving the X-56A was recorded.

September 2015 - The aircraft completed its latest round of flight testing during September of 2015.

November 2015 - The first X-56A flyer crashed on take-off after having accomplished a total of sixteen flights. This was the first flutter suppression test flight.

January 2017 - The flooding of the lakebed at Edwards AFB has meant a postponement of future (program expansion) flights involving the X-56A. Eight flights are currently scheduled.

October 2017 - The X-56A is set to resume flight testing in mid-November. Because of earlier issues that led to the first aircraft crashing during take-off, the design will be revised in the second prototype.

October 2018 - The X-56A project has succeeded in demonstrating active suppression of flutter through its flexible wing design.
MEDIA









Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

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Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 200mph
Lo: 100mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (172mph).

    Graph average of 150 miles-per-hour.
Aviation Era
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Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
2
2

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Supported Roles
A2A
Interception
UAV
Ground Attack
CAS
Training
ASW
Anti-Ship
AEW
MEDEVAC
EW
Maritime/Navy
SAR
Aerial Tanker
Utility/Transport
VIP
Passenger
Business
Recon
SPECOPS
X-Plane/Development
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
Commitments / Honors
Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.