A sister ship to the M2-F2 was the HL-10, parked here on Rogers Dry Lake bed. NASA says the HL-10 ("HL" for "horizontal landing") was the best of the original heavyweight lifting bodies. It flew 37 times during the research program. Like the M2-F2, it was built by Northrop.
"This 1968 photo shows the vehicle after the fins were modified to remove instabilities encountered on the first flight," says NASA. Driven by wind tunnel testing, according to the space agency, those modifications "involved a change to the shape of the leading edge of the fins to eliminate flow separation...NASA Flight Research Center (FRC) engineer Bob Kempel then plotted thousands of data points by hand to come up with the modification, which involved a fiberglass glove backed with a metal structure on each fin's leading edge."
April 11, 2010 6:00 AM PDT
Photo by: NASA
| Caption by: Jonathan Skillings
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