Futuristic flow control
Regarding the article “Futuristic flow control” in the February issue, it is good to see that research in non-mechanical flight control is advancing significantly to a flight demonstrator stage [DARPA plans an X-plane]. One of the concepts being considered involves using jets of air blowing over various flight surfaces. This is of special interest to me as I remember well the research and wind tunnel testing on a control concept of “spanwise blowing over aerodynamic surfaces” in the very early 1970s. This early work was performed in our Research Laboratories at the Lockheed Georgia Co. (near Atlanta, now Lockheed Martin). As mentioned in the article, non-mechanical aerodynamic active flow control research goes back a very long way. Finally, real progress is about to be made.
John S. “Jack” Gibson, AIAA fellow
Hideaway, Texas, firstname.lastname@example.org