The F-16 Looks Positively Space-Aged in this Aerodynamics Test

Illustration for article titled The F-16 Looks Positively Space-Aged in this Aerodynamics Test

Smoke and lasers take this model aircraft from looking good to gorgeous. The flow visualization was part of high speed research on the F-16 Scamp conducted at NASA’s Langeley Research Center in 1992.

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[NASA]

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DISCUSSION

For those curious, this is known as Particle Image Velocimetry, which employs lasers spread out into sheets to illuminate tiny particles in the flow. Combine that with high-speed imagery, and you can visualize individual slices and analyze what’s going on aerodynamically. Repeat multiple times in multiple orientations and you get a nice, complete picture of the flow field.