The Close Call of the Northrop YA-9A Prototype

The close air support YA-9A had intriguing design features despite losing a pivotal contract to replace the aging Douglas A-1 Skyraider.
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Smaller, Lighter Cessna 327 ‘Mini Skymaster’

The 327 was Cessna’s solution to a downsizing opportunity. Then it ended up in a NASA wind tunnel.
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The Unconventional, 440-Pound Aerosport Rail

This remarkable aircraft lacked a windscreen or enclosed fuselage but made up for it with a second engine.
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Beechcraft Twin Quad: A ‘Feederliner’ That Almost Was

Though the V-tail was the most notable design feature of the aircraft, it paled in comparison to the originality and uniqueness of the ...
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The High Speed, Low Drag Northrop X-21

The prototype's wing lift was artificially boosted by an extensive pattern of razor-thin slots in the upper wing surface to reduce drag.
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The Quiet Little Life of NASA’s QSRA

NASA's Quiet Short-Haul Research Aircraft was designed to navigate inner-city airports in dense population centers.
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Dayton Wright’s Race To Build a Time Machine

When the RB-1 was constructed to compete in the 1920 Gordon Bennett trophy race in France, it utilized features unheard of in that ...
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How NASA’s Unconventional Bell X-14 Almost Landed in the Scrapyard

The X-plane explored VTOL technologies and was used by NASA astronauts to refine their moon-landing skills.
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Boeing Bird of Prey Shrouded in Secrecy Still

Named after a Klingon spacecraft from Star Trek and given the designation “YF-118G”, the jet incorporated dramatic design inside and out.
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The Rise and Stall of the Piper PA-47 PiperJet Program

The airframe configuration of the single-engine Piper PA-47 PiperJet presented a unique set of engineering challenges.
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