Location: Edwards, California United States
Company: NASA AFRC
Inspired by: Our PRANDTL-D research was inspired by how birds fly. Birds turn and bank without vertical tails that are required for such maneuvers on traditional aircraft. An aircraft with a PRANDTL-D wing does the same. We also based our wing design solution on ideas by the early 20th century German aeronautical engineer Ludwig Prandtl. His research is considered a foundation of modern aerodynamics. Our work also was based on glider concepts of German brothers Reimar and Walter Horten and it incorporates the conclusions of NASA aerodynamics pioneers R.T. Jones and Richard T. Whitcomb. And for the past year or so, we have been encouraged by the energy and enthusiasm of a group of summer interns who have worked with us on an autopiloted flying wing designed to land on Mars.