NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Flying test-bed for helicopter rotors. NASA's Rotor System Research Aircraft (RSRA) in flight. The RSRA was designed to act as a flying test-bed for new helicopter rotors. To ensure its safety should the rotors fail, the RSRA was given small wings and extra jet engines. Here, the RSRA is seen in a flight test with a five-bladed rotor fitted. The RSRA will soon be used to test the 'X- wing' concept, where a large four-blade rotor is used for take-off, then 'parked' to act as wings once the RSRA is established in forward flight.
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