Boeing X-40A

Boeing X-40A

RoleGlide test vehicle
First flightAugust 11, 1998

The Boeing X-40A Space Maneuver Vehicle was a test platform for the X-37 Future-X Reusable Launch Vehicle. The unpiloted X-40 was built to 85% scale to test aerodynamics and navigation of the X-37 Future-X Reusable Launch Vehicle project. After the first drop test in August 1998 the vehicle was transferred to NASA, which modified it. Between April 4 and May 19, 2001 the vehicle successfully conducted seven free flights.In 2001 it successfully demonstrated the glide capabilities of the X-37’s fat-bodied, short-winged design and validated the proposed guidance system.

Source: Boeing X-40A on Wikipedia

Boeing X-40A Walk Around
Photographer Vladimir Yakubov
LocalisationNational Museum of the USAF, Dayton
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The Boeing X-40A was an experimental vehicle that tested the design and performance of the Boeing X-37, a reusable spaceplane that could launch satellites and perform other missions in orbit. The X-40A was a scaled-down version of the X-37, measuring 21 feet long and 11 feet wide. It had no engine or propulsion system, and was dropped from a helicopter to glide to a runway landing. The X-40A flew seven times between 1998 and 2001, demonstrating the aerodynamics and guidance system of the X-37 concept. The X-40A was a joint project of the U.S. Air Force, NASA and Boeing Phantom Works.

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