Grumman X-29

I have chosen to do my book report on the book "The Grumman X-29", by Steve

Pace, for a couple of reasons. Iíve seen the X-29 in flight at an air show and
was mystified by its wing design. I asked myself how could something like that
fly at all? This book shed some light on the mysteries of how the X-29 flies and
performs. I am going to tell you a little about the book and the X-29, so sit
back relax and enjoy the fruits of my reading labor. The X-29 is a single-engine
aircraft 48.1 feet long. Its forward-swept wing has a span of 27.2 feet. Each

X-29 was powered by a General Electric F404-GE-400 engine producing 16,000
pounds of thrust. Empty weight was 13,600 pounds, while takeoff weight was

17,600 pounds. The wing substructure and the basic airframe itself are aluminum
and titanium. Wing trailing edge actuators controlling camber are mounted
externally in streamlined fairings because of the thinness of the supercritical
airfoil. The aircraft had a maximum operating altitude of 50,000 feet, a maximum
speed of Mach 1.6, and a flight endurance time of approximately one hour.

Overall, VFC, like the forward-swept wings, showed promise for the future of
aircraft design. The X-29 did not demonstrate the overall reduction in
aerodynamic drag that earlier studies had suggested, but this discovery should
not be interpreted to mean that a more optimized design with forward-swept wings
could not yield a reduction in drag. Overall, the X-29 program demonstrated
several new technologies as well as new uses of proven technologies. These
included: aero elastic tailoring to control structural divergence; use of a
relatively large, close-coupled canard for longitudinal control; control of an
aircraft with extreme instability while still providing good handling qualities;
use of three-surface longitudinal control; use of a double-hinged trailing-edge
flap at supersonic speeds; control effectiveness at high angle of attack; vortex
control; and military utility of the overall design. The book was overall very
informative in the sense that all terms and ideas were explained clearly and
simply in order to communicate to the general public better versus someone who
is educated in the aeronautics field. I highly recommend this book to someone
looking for a little overall knowledge of the X-29, but if you are looking for
in-depth report and analysis you should look elsewhere.


NASA Dryden Flight Research Center Document number: FS-98-04-008 DFRC

Responsible NASA Official: Jenny Baer-Riedhart