Multi-Use Technology Testbed (MUTT), an unmanned aircraft being developed by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, for NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center, to test technologies that will be needed for new kinds of lightweight, flexible aircraft.
MUTT is one of the Air Force’s newest X-planes, named X-56A. The 7.5-foot-long aircraft has a 28-foot wingspan and will be powered by two 52-pound thrust JetCat P200-SX turbine engines. It is being built in California under contract to Lockheed Martin Corp., which will conduct the flight experiments for the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).
Dryden will oversee the flights for AFRL during summer 2012, and then take ownership of the X-56A MUTT for follow-on research after the Air Force tests are finished in early autumn.
“Flexible wings and fuselages can result in significant reductions in the structural weight of aircraft,” says Gary Martin, deputy project manager for NASA’s Subsonic Fixed Wing Project at Dryden.