LFC AIRPLANE OPERATIONAL AND COST ANALYSIS.
NORTHROP CORP HAWTHORNE CALIF NORAIR DIV
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This report presents operational, maintenance, and cost analyses of transportcargo class aircraft equipped with Laminar Flow Control for reduced drag based on analytical studies and results of the X-21A LFC airplane demonstration program. Actual X-21A results were used to the maximum extent possible in these analyses however, technical problems involving the fabrication of LFC surfaces to the required waviness tolerance and a leading edge flow instability phenomenon which developed during this program served to limit the scope of scheduled tests, particularly those relating to operational and maintenance requirements of LFC systems. For this reason, the operational and maintenance analyses are supplemented with results of analytical studies and wind tunnel or laboratory tests. Further testing with the X-21A airplanes has been proposed to resolve these technical problems, and to demonstrate operational suitability and maintainability of the LFC system in environments normally encountered by service-type aircraft. Author