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HL-10 aircraft . Cockpit view from a Northrop HL-10 lifting body aircraft during approach and landing at Edwards Air Force Base, California, USA. The HL-10 was one of a series of experimental space re-entry aircraft known as lifting body designs. Lifting body aircraft had short, bulbous or curved fuselages and featured minimal wings or were wingless. The design increased the aerodynamic capabilities of the aircraft when travelling at speed and the absence of wings meant less heat damage during space re-entry. The HL-10 was built in 1966 and dropped from B-52 planes to test flight manoeuvrability. Despite its success, NASA cancelled the lifting body design in favour of the delta wing during early Space Shuttle development.
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