XCOR has completed subsonic wind tunnel testing of a 1/16th scale metal model of their Lynx suborbital vehicle at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at Wright Patterson AFB, Dayton, Ohio.
The testing was done under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the Air Vehicles Directorate at the Lab, XCOR CEO Jeff Greason said. “Computational Fluid Dynamics and other computer design tools are very useful, but you have to build real models and let real air flow around them to get real results.” In return for the subsonic wind tunnel testing, the AFRL will get access to the data derived from the process which will help in the development of operationally responsive space craft. Supersonic wind tunnel testing will be done later this year.
XCOR is making good progress on developing Lynx, Greason said. â€œWhile we are refining the aerodynamic design, we are making progress in fabricating the Lynxâ€™s crew cabin, testing cryogenic pumps that will be used in the propulsion system, and continuing the test program of the liquid fuel rocket engines that will propel the Lynx to the edge of space.”