flight operation

Book Lovers Day - Free Aeronautics e-Books from NASA

Quieting the Boom

The Shaped Sonic Boom Demonstrator and the Quest for Quiet Supersonic Flight.

Download it HERE

Elegance in Flight

A comprehensive History of the F-16XL Experimental Prototype and its Role in our Flight Research. 

Download it HERE

Probing the Sky

Selected National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) Research Airplanes and Their Contributions to Flight.

Download it HERE

Cave of the Winds

The huge Langley Full-Scale Tunnel building dominated the skyline of Langley Air Force Base for 81 years (1930–2011). Explore how the results of critical tests conducted within its massive test section contributed to many of the Nation’s most important aeronautics and space programs.

Download it HERE

A New Twist in Flight Research

A New Twist in Flight Research describes the origins and design development of aeroelastic wing technology, its application to research aircraft, the flight-test program, and follow-on research and future applications.

Download it HERE

Sweeping Forward

Developing & Flight Testing the Grumman X-29A Forward Swept Wing Research Aircraft.

Download it HERE

Thinking Obliquely

Robert T. Jones, the Oblique Wing, our AD-1 Demonstrator, and its Legacy.

Download it HERE

The Apollo of Aeronautics

The fuel crisis of the 1970s threatened not only the airline industry but also the future of American prosperity itself. It also served as the genesis of technological ingenuity and innovation from a group of scientists and engineers at NASA, who initiated planning exercises to explore new fuel-saving technologies.

Download it HERE

X-15: Extending the Frontiers of Flight

X-15: Extending the Frontiers of Flight describes the genesis of the program, the design and construction of the aircraft, years of research flights and the experiments that flew aboard them.

Download it HERE

Ikhana

Delve into the story of the Ikhana, a remotely piloted vehicle used by NASA researchers to conduct Earth science research, which became an unexpected flying and imaging helper to emergency workers battling California wildfires.

Download it HERE

NASA’s Contributions to Aeronautics, Volume 1

This first volume in a two-volume set includes case studies and essays on NACA-NASA research for contributions such as high-speed wing design, the area rule, rotary-wing aerodynamics research, sonic boom mitigation, hypersonic design, computational fluid dynamics, electronic flight control and environmentally friendly aircraft technology.

Download it HERE

NASA’s Contributions to Aeronautics, Volume 2

Continue your journey into the world  of NASA’s Contributions to Aeronautics with case studies and essays on NACA-NASA research for contributions including wind shear and lightning research, flight operations, human factors, wind tunnels, composite structures, general aviation aircraft safety, supersonic cruise aircraft research and atmospheric icing.

Download it HERE

Interested in other free e-books on topics from space, science, research and more? Discover the other e-books HERE.

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ADDIS ABABA—Ethiopian Airlines is dispatching its first-ever flight operated by an all-female crew. The flight was scheduled to depart for Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday night. The airline says it wants to promote women’s empowerment and encourage more African girls to pursue aviation careers.

Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde Gebremariam said attracting more women to aviation jobs is one of the reasons for hosting the female flight, together with empowering women.

“It’s going to be very inspiring for all the women all over the world, aviation women and particularly the African woman. Because, as you know, here in the continent of Africa, we are lagging behind in women empowerment. So this is going to inspire all the school girls in Africa that they have a very bright future in the 21st century,” Gebremariam said.

The flight is being handled by women in every aspect – from planning, to aircraft maintenance, and from the pilots to air traffic controllers. Even upon arrival in Bangkok, all customs and immigration officers will be female.

Ethiopian Airlines says about one third of its employees are women. But the number is smaller when it comes to positions such as pilots and technicians.

Illusions in the Cosmic Clouds: Pareidolia is the psychological phenomenon where people see recognizable shapes in clouds, rock formations, or otherwise unrelated objects or data. There are many examples of this phenomenon on Earth and in space.

When an image from NASAs Chandra X-ray Observatory of PSR B1509-58 a spinning neutron star surrounded by a cloud of energetic particles was released in 2009, it quickly gained attention because many saw a hand-like structure in the X-ray emission.

In a new image of the system, X-rays from Chandra in gold are seen along with infrared data from NASAs Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer telescope in red, green and blue. Pareidolia may strike again as some people report seeing a shape of a face in WISEs infrared data. What do you see?

NASAs Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, also took a picture of the neutron star nebula in 2014, using higher-energy X-rays than Chandra.

PSR B1509-58 is about 17,000 light-years from Earth.

JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the WISE mission for NASA. NASAs Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, manages the Chandra program for. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts, controls Chandras science and flight operations.

Image Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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10 Questions About the 2017 Astronaut Class

We will select between eight and 14 new astronaut candidates from among a record-breaking applicant class of more than 18,300, almost three times the number of applications the agency received in 2012 for the recent astronaut class, and far surpassing the previous record of 8,000 in 1978.

The candidates will be announced at an event at our Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas at 2 p.m. EDT on June 7. You can find more information on how to watch the announcement HERE.

1. What are the qualifications for becoming an astronaut?

Applicants must meet the following minimum requirements before submitting an application.

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution in engineering, biological science, physical science, computer science or mathematics. 
  • Degree must be followed by at least 3 years of related, progressively responsible, professional experience or at least 1,000 hours of pilot-in-command time in jet aircraft
  • Ability to pass the NASA Astronaut physical.

For more information, visit: https://astronauts.nasa.gov/content/faq.htm

2. What have selections looked like in the past?

There have been 22 classes of astronauts selected from the original “Mercury Seven” in 1959 to the most recent 2017 class. Other notable classes include:

  • The fourth class in 1965 known as “The Scientists: because academic experience was favored over pilot skills. 
  • The eighth class in 1978 was a huge step forward for diversity, featuring the first female, African American and Asian American selections.
  • The 16th class in 1996 was the largest class yet with 44 members – 35 U.S. astronauts and 9 international astronauts. They were selected for the frequent Space Shuttle flights and the anticipated need for International Space Station crewmembers.
  • The 21st class in 2013 was the first class to have 50/50 gender split with 4 female members and 4 male members.

3. What vehicles will they fly in?

They could be assigned on any of four different spacecraft: the International Space Station, our Orion spacecraft for deep space exploration or one of two American-made commercial crew spacecraft currently in development – Boeing’s CST-199 Starliner or the SpaceX Crew Dragon.

4. Where will they go?

These astronauts will be part of expanded crews aboard the space station that will significantly increase the crew time available to conduct the important research and technology demonstrations that are advancing our knowledge for missions farther into space than humans have gone before, while also returning benefits to Earth. They will also be candidates for missions beyond the moon and into deep space aboard our Orion spacecraft on flights that help pave the way for missions to Mars.

5. What will their roles be?

After completing two years of general training, these astronaut candidates will be considered full astronauts, eligible to be assigned spaceflight missions. While they wait for their turn, they will be given duties within the Astronaut Office at Johnson Space Center. Technical duties can range from supporting current missions in roles such as CAPCOM in Mission Control, to advising on the development of future spacecraft.

6. What will their training look like?

The first two years of astronaut candidate training will focus on the basic skills astronauts need. They’ll practice for spacewalks in Johnson’s 60-foot deep swimming pool, the Neutral Buoyancy Lab, which requires SCUBA certification. They’ll also simulate bringing visiting spacecraft in for a berthing to the space station using its robotic arm, Canadarm2, master the ins and outs of space station system and learn Russian. 

And, whether they have previous experience piloting an aircraft of not, they’ll learn to fly our fleet of T-38s. In addition, they’ll perfect their expeditionary skills, such as leadership and fellowship, through activities like survival training and geology treks.

7.  What kinds of partners will they work with?

They will join a team that supports missions going on at many different NASA centers across the country, but they’ll also interact with commercial partners developing spaceflight hardware. In addition, they will work with our international partners around the globe: ESA (the European Space Agency, the Canadian Space Agency, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and the Russian space agency, Roscosmos.

8. How does the selection process work?

All 18,353 of the applications submitted were reviewed by human resources experts to determine if they met the basic qualifications. Those that did were then each reviewed by a panel of about 50 people, made up primarily of current astronauts. Called the Astronaut Rating Panel, that group narrowed to applicants down to a few hundred of what they considered the most highly qualified individuals, whose references were then checked.

From that point, a smaller group called the Astronaut Selection Board brought in the top 120 applicants for an intense round of interviews and some initial medical screening tests. That group is further culled to the top 50 applicants afterward, who are brought back for a second round of interviews and additional screening. The final candidates are selected from that group.

9. How do they get notified?

Each applicant selected to become an astronaut receives a phone call from the head of the Flight Operations Directorate at our Johnson Space Center and the chief of the astronaut office. They’re asked to share the good news with only their immediate family until their selection has been officially announced.

10. How does the on boarding process work?

Astronaut candidates will report for duty at Johnson Space Center in August 2017, newly fitted flight suits in tow, and be sworn into civil service. Between their selection and their report for duty, they will make arrangements to leave their current positions and relocate with their family to Houston, Texas.

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So I want to talk about this scene:

Specifically, I want to talk about Finn’s motivation here, because I’ve been reading a lot of meta on the subject and it seems, according to fandom, he’s either a selfish coward who only needs Poe for his piloting skills, or he’s an altruistic hero who rescues Poe out of the goodness of his heart and then feigns selfishness so that Poe won't… I don’t know, think highly of him? Anyway, this bothers me, because either way it reduces a somewhat pivotal scene (in terms of character development, not to mention plot) to a simplistic black or white answer (no pun intended, though I am still side-eyeing huge swaths of this fandom) and that… just won’t do.

Keep reading

PACIFIC OCEAN (June 17, 2010) A Marine pilot assigned to the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (15th MEU) flies an AH-1W Super Cobra during flight operations aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5). Taylor is participating in theater security cooperation activities in the Adriatic Sea. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Edward Kessler/Released)

Flying With Fuel From Plants: The Eco-friendly Way to Go

We eat them. We make medicines out of them. Now we’re learning how to use plants as airplane fuel that helps the environment.

Using biofuels to help power jet engines reduces particle emissions in their exhaust by as much as 50 to 70 percent, according to a new study that bodes well for airline economics and Earth’s atmosphere.

All of the aircraft, researchers and flight operations people who made ACCESS II happen. Credits: NASA/Tom Tschida

The findings are the result of a cooperative international research program led by NASA and involving agencies from Germany and Canada, and are detailed in a study published in the journal Nature.

The view from inside NASA’s HU-25C Guardian sampling aircraft from very close behind the DC-8. Credits: NASA/SSAI Edward Winstead

Our flight tests collected information about the effects of alternative fuels on engine performance, emissions and aircraft-generated contrails – essentially, human-made clouds - at altitudes flown by commercial airliners. 

The DC-8’s four engines burned either JP-8 jet fuel or a 50-50 blend of JP-8 and renewable alternative fuel of hydro processed esters and fatty acids produced from camelina plant oil. Credits: NASA/SSAI Edward Winstead

Contrails are produced by hot aircraft engine exhaust mixing with the cold air that is typical at cruise altitudes several miles above Earth’s surface, and are composed primarily of water in the form of ice crystals.

Matt Berry (left), a flight operations engineer at our Armstrong Flight Research Center, reviews the flight plan with Principal Investigator Bruce Anderson. Credits: NASA/Tom Tschida

Researchers are interested in contrails because they create clouds that would not normally form in the atmosphere, and are believed to influence Earth’s environment. 

The alternative fuels tested reduced those emissions. That’s important because contrails have a larger impact on Earth’s atmosphere than all the aviation-related carbon dioxide emissions since the first powered flight by the Wright Brothers.

This photo, taken May 14, 2014, is from the CT-133 aircraft of research partner National Research Council of Canada. It shows the NASA HU-25C Guardian aircraft flying 250 meters behind NASA’s DC-8 aircraft before it descends into the DC-8’s exhaust plumes to sample ice particles and engine emissions. Credit: National Research Council of Canada

Researchers plan on continuing these studies to understand the benefits of replacing current fuels in aircraft with biofuels. 

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Day 7 - Lobuche
I’ve arrived in my guesthouse Oxygen Altitude.
A feat I wasn’t sure i’d actually manage.
2 nights with only 2 - 4 hours sleep. 4900m high.
My body aches. My lungs are constantly waiting for the next coughing fit to attack them. —-
Everest Marathon day. The hike began with a constant stream of marathon runners rushing past. Just when I thought i’d reached the end of my tether these people would run past reminding me what the human body is capable of.
If they can run 42km’s from base camp to Naamche then I can hike for a few hours! —-The day included yet another gruelling ascent. (Surprising really, that hiking a mountain includes so many uphills)
We were hiking between two mountains above a valley where the wind was whipping through, buffeting us as we climbed.
Please remember how small I am. Strong winds are not my friend. I distinctly remember being 9 or 10 and running outside in a very large coat, being picked up by a strong wind and feared I would never return to earth. (Perhaps one day i’ll turn this ordeal into a childs book) The memory of this stuck with me as I scrambled up the mountains. Perched precariously on rocks waiting for a train of yaks to pass and watching admiringly as the porters did the same ascent with triple the weight on there backs.

The key to tackling these ascents is to avoid looking up. Look just ahead and slowly put one foot in front of the other. Continue this until you reach the top.
Don’t think how far it is to go. A watched pot never boils as my Nan used to say. A watched summit never gets any closer.
Instead look below you and admire how far you’ve come. Take in the magnificent view, reminding you why you’re subjecting yourself to so much pain. Pat yourself on the back for how amazing you are for even attempting it and then keep on climbing.
Ignore the hikers who are descending and say helpful comments like ‘ooph, you’ve still got a long way to go’ ‘i’m not going to lie, it’s a tough hike’
Internally you sarcastically answer ‘Oh really? I didn’t notice. My eyes stopped worked years ago’, but externally you smile and nod as if there words helped you.
But then an older gentleman walks by and says ‘good job!’ and you can give him a genuine smile.
Finally you reach the top and look down at the small town below you. You admire how far you’ve come, but also admiring how long it took you to ascend such a short amount.
It’s here that you get a proper reminder of how many people die on this mountain. Stupa’s are erected as memorials everywhere you look. American’s like Scott Fisher, Indians, Europeans. First time submitters and old hacks who’d done it so many times they probably thought they were invincible (as we all do I guess)
Everest has it’s way of constantly keeping my own mortality at the forefront of my mind. With the constant hum of helicopters flying overhead, never knowing if it’s a scenic flight or a rescue operation.
With news coming in that a flight crashed in Lukla, killing two people and injuring one. The news that 2 people died at Gorak Shep, the town I was heading to in 2 days. 4 bodies where found at camp 4 (2000m’s higher than i’d be heading, but still)
Or just constantly meeting people who are suffering severe altitude sickness and heading back down, or know someone who did.
Not to mention all the documentaries and films you watch on the hike about the everest disasters.We took a moment to respect the people who didn’t make it back down this path, made a mental promise to my mother to pay attention to my body and not continue with signs of altitude sickness. (Mum probably would have considered my cough bad enough and the fact I hadn’t slept enough as reason enough to head back. But since when do we travellers listen to our mothers!)

The hike continued and we hit the desolation area. A world of white, grey and black. The only colour coming from the trekkers garishly bright clothing. And the blue North face bags from the base camp pack down piled onto the backs of the yaks heading back down the hill.
The wind whips through the valley. We scramble over rocks, we catch sight of a glacier completely covered by grey boulders. The snow capped peaks constantly appearing and disappearing behind the clouds.
The air is dry and harsh. A reminder that this place is not designed for life.
We reach Lobuche. I’m so tired I can hardly string two sentences together. My eyes are drooping and I retire early hoping I’m finally tired enough to sleep.
Don’t hold your breath like I did. I tossed and turned until 5am again, managing to snatch 2 hours after i’d given up all hope.
4900m is not an ideal spot to try and get your 8 hours. 

Western Pacific Ocean (Oct. 25, 2003) – An F/A-18 Hornet assigned to the “Mighty Shrikes” of Strike Fighter Squadron Ninety Four (VFA-94), flies over the Western Pacific Ocean during flight operations aboard USS Nimitz (CVN 68). The Nimitz Carrier Strike Group and Carrier Air Wing Eleven (CVW-11) are deployed to the Western Pacific. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 3rd Class Elizabeth Thompson. (RELEASED)

The World’s worst mid-air collisions

While you’d imagine that with an almost limitless sky, collisions between aircraft should be almost impossible, the reality is that nothing is shorter than a straight line, and as such the skies are filled with a sort of invisible highways, pre-established flight paths between airports that all aircraft have to follow to get from point A to B in the most efficient, quick manner, this is why the following accidents managed to take place:

Charkhi Dadri mid-air collision

On 12 November 1996 over the village of Charkhi Dadri, to the west of New Delhi, India, two commercial aircraft, Saudi Arabian Airlines Flight 763, a
Boeing 747-100B, and Kazakhstan Airlines Flight 1907, a Ilyushin Il-76TD, collided in the approach path of Delhi’s airport, a narrow flight path used to both departures and arrivals, where a combination of pilot error on behalf of the Kazakh aircraft, lack of a modern radar in Delhi, and the airports extremely congested approach path lead to the loss of 349 people on board both planes, becoming the third deadliest aviation accident in history. 

Dniprodzerzhynsk mid-air collision

On 11 August 1979 over Ukraine, near the city formerly named Dniprodzerzhynsk, two Tupolev Tu-134A’s on scheduled domestic passenger flights, and both operated by Aeroflot, Aeroflot 65816 and Aeroflot 65735, collided while on cruise flight after an overworked and understaffed air traffic control made a series of communication and direction mistakes, ultimately culminating in a break down of communication and the subsequent crash, killing all 178 people on board both airliners.

Zagreb mid-air collision

On 10 September 1976, British Airways Flight 476, a Hawker Siddeley Trident, collided mid-air near Zagreb, Yugoslavia (now Croatia), with Inex-Adria Aviopromet Flight 550, a Douglas DC-9. The collision was the result of a procedural error on the part of Zagreb air traffic controllers, a combination of bad coordination and use of improper radio language, leading to the loss of all 176 people on board both planes. 

All Nippon Airways Flight 58


On 30 July 1971, a Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) Mitsubishi F-86F Sabre fighter jet collided with an All Nippon Airways Boeing 727-200 airliner, causing both aircraft to crash. All 162 occupants of the airliner were killed, while the Sabre pilot, a trainee with the JASDF, ejected before the collision and survived. The crash occurred after the fighter pilot, Technical Sergeant Yoshimi Ichikawa , which was practicing air combat maneuvers with his instructor in another Sabre, failed to monitor the air traffic around him, until his instructor realized the impending collision and ordered him to break away from the airliner, an order that came too late. 

Libyan Arab Airlines Flight 1103

On 22 December 1992, a Libyan Arab Airlines Boeing 727-200 took off from Benina International Airport near Benghazi on a domestic flight to Tripoli International Airport. At an altitude of 3,500 ft (1,067 m) during the aircraft’s approach to Tripoli airport, the aircraft disintegrated after allegely colliding with a Libyan Air Force’s MiG-23, resulting in the death of all 157 passengers and crew on the airliner, while the 2-man crew of the MiG ejected. 

This one, while still being classified as a mid-air collision, but after the fall of Gaddafi, the military pilot involved claims the airliner was ordered shot down by Gaddafi himself, in an attempt to show the west the consequences of the embargo imposed on Libya after the bombing of Pan Am flight 103.

Gol Transportes Aéreos Flight 1907

On 29 September 2006, a Gol Transportes Aeréos Boeing 737-800 collided in midair with an Embraer Legacy 600 business jet over the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso. All 154 passengers and crew aboard the Boeing 737 died when the aircraft broke up in midair and crashed into an area of dense jungle, while the Embraer Legacy, despite sustaining serious damage to its left wing and tail, landed safely with its seven occupants uninjured. The accident was caused by errors committed both by air traffic controllers, further compounded by lack of radar coverage over the area of collision, and by the American pilots on the delivery flight of the Embraer Legacy, whom failed to turn on their anti-collision system or TCAS, being unfamiliar with their brand-new aircraft. 

Space Missions Come Together in Colorado

Our leadership hit the road to visit our commercial partners Lockheed Martin, Sierra Nevada Corp. and Ball Aerospace in Colorado. They were able to check the status of flight hardware, mission operations and even test virtual reality simulations that help these companies build spacecraft parts.

Let’s take a look at all the cool technology they got to see…

Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor building our Orion crew vehicle, the only spacecraft designed to take humans into deep space farther than they’ve ever gone before.

Acting NASA Deputy Administrator Lesa Roe and Acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot are seen inside the CHIL…the Collaborative Human Immersive Laboratory at Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Littleton, Colo. Lockheed Martin’s CHIL enables collaboration between spacecraft design and manufacturing teams before physically producing hardware.

Cool shades! The ability to visualize engineering designs in virtual reality offers tremendous savings in time and money compared to using physical prototypes. Technicians can practice how to assemble and install components, the shop floor can validate tooling and work platform designs, and engineers can visualize performance characteristics like thermal, stress and aerodynamics, just like they are looking at the real thing.

This heat shield, which was used as a test article for the Mars Curiosity Rover, will now be used as the flight heat shield for the Mars 2020 rover mission.

Fun fact: Lockheed Martin has built every Mars heat shield and aeroshell for us since the Viking missions in 1976.

Here you can see Lockheed Martin’s Mission Support Area. Engineers in this room support six of our robotic planetary spacecraft: Mars Odyssey, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, MAVEN, Juno, OSIRIS-REx and Spitzer, which recently revealed the first known system of seven Earth-size planets around a single star, TRAPPIST-1. They work with NASA centers and the mission science teams to develop and send commands and monitor the health of the spacecraft.

See all the pictures from the Lockheed Martin visit HERE

Sierra Nevada Corporation

Next, Lightfoot and Roe went to Sierra Nevada Corporation in Louisville, Colo. to get an update about its Dream Chaser vehicle. This spacecraft will take cargo to and from the International Space Station as part of our commercial cargo program.

Here, Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Vice President of Space Exploration Systems Steve Lindsey (who is also a former test pilot and astronaut!) speaks with Lightfoot and Roe about the Dream Chaser Space System simulator.

Lightfoot climbed inside the Dream Chaser simulator where he “flew” the crew version of the spacecraft to a safe landing. This mock-up facility enables approach-and-landing simulations as well as other real-life situations. 

See all the images from the Sierra Nevada visit HERE.

Ball Aerospace

Lightfoot and Roe went over to Ball Aerospace to tour its facility. Ball is another one of our commercial aerospace partners and helps builds instruments that are on NASA spacecraft throughout the universe, including the Hubble Space Telescope and the New Horizons mission to Pluto. Ball designed and built the advanced optical technology and lightweight mirror system that will enable the James Webb Space Telescope to look 13.5 billion years back in time. 

Looking into the clean room at Ball Aerospace’s facility in Boulder, Colo., the team can see the Ozone Mapping Profiler Suite. These sensors are used on spacecraft to track ozone measurements.

Here, the group stands in front of a thermal vacuum chamber used to test satellite optics. The Operation Land Imager-2 is being built for Landsat 9, a collaboration between NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey that will continue the Landsat Program’s 40-year data record monitoring the Earth’s landscapes from space.

See all the pictures from the Ball Aerospace visit HERE

We recently marked a decade since a new era began in commercial spaceflight development for low-Earth orbit transportation. We inked agreements in 2006 to develop rockets and spacecraft capable of carrying cargo such as experiments and supplies to and from the International Space Station. Learn more about commercial space HERE.

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This is an image of Ol’ Tomcat No. 3, with Grumman’s Chief Test Pilot, Chuck Sewell, at the controls. 

During aircraft testing, several test flights were flown with the right wing locked in the forward position of 20 degrees, and the left wing at 35, 50, 60 and 68 degrees of sweep in flight. 

Amazingly, it was discovered that in the event of an operational in-flight malfunction, the Tomcat would remain controllable enough for carrier landing in this configuration.

Atlantic Ocean (July 19, 2005) - Four F-14B Tomcats, assigned to the “Swordsmen” of Fighter Squadron Three Two (VF-32), perform a diamond formation fly-by at the conclusion of Carrier Air Wing Three (CVW-3) fly-off aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). The current underway-period marks the final time the F-14 Tomcat will take part in flight operations while embarked aboard Truman. VF-32 will shortly begin the process of transitioning to the newer F/A-18F Super Hornet. Truman is currently conducting carrier qualifications and operations off the East Coast and is also participating in a Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX) with USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). JTFEX is a key component in the training cycle of an aircraft carrier and carrier air wing in the U.S. Navy Fleet Response Plan. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 3rd Class Kristopher Wilson (RELEASED)