After 25 Years The
Grumman Built X-29 Aircraft Returns To Long Island
By Mike Mitchell
September 23, 2011 - After spending the last 25 years on
exhibit at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
in Washington, D.C., the only full-scale mockup of the
famed Grumman-built X-29 aircraft has come home to Long
Northrop Grumman Corporation, who designed and built the
revolutionary forward swept wing aircraft demonstrator,
welcomed the aircraft yesterday to the Cradle of
Aviation Museum in Garden City, N.Y.
A day-long series of special events were held at the museum for local area students, company employees, retirees and aviation enthusiasts, including a guided tour by Northrop Grumman engineers and a reunion dinner.
The company funded the transportation costs for the X-29 with a $5,000 grant to the museum. "We're honored to accept this incredible aircraft from the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum and add it to our vast collection," said Todd Richman, chairman of the board of the Cradle of Aviation Museum. "We owe Pat McMahon and Northrop Grumman a small debt of gratitude for bringing the X-29 home where it belongs. I hope it amazed our students yesterday and inspires countless generations to come."
discussion was held during the dinner featuring X-29 Program
Manager Glenn Spacht, who was also vice president of engineering
for Grumman Aerospace at the time of the X-29 program. Joining
him was Bob August, manager, Advanced Programs and Technology
Division, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. August worked on
the program immediately following graduation from college.
the X-29 here at the Cradle of Aviation Museum will allow
students to learn from the success of this demonstration plane.
It will also give them a chance to imagine what the human mind
can create next," said Steve Hogan, vice president, information
operations and electronic attack, Northrop Grumman Aerospace
"Whether it is a manned or unmanned aircraft, or other advanced capability we are developing and delivering to our customers, there is nothing more important than demonstrating the value of performance every day to America's troops," he added.
introduced the special guest of the evening, David Neyland, director of
the Tactical Technology Office at DARPA, the principal agency within the
Department of Defense for advanced research and development. DARPA was
the original sponsor and a key motivator for the development of the X-29
and its associated flight research program.
"There's a lot of
things associated with this airplane that inspired us as a nation in
technology and innovation to keep ahead of the other guys. It was the
first of its kind in terms of extreme margins of instability on the
airplane--instability meaning the aircraft doesn't want to fly in a
straight forward direction," Neyland said. "Now, it's about who builds
the next X-29, who builds the next lunar module... There's a real
important mission here that I can't understate and that is the
'inspiration' coming from a new generation that's looking forward."
Yesterday, students from Uniondale High School, who are part of the Cradle of Aviation's Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Magnet Academy, were some of the first to view the X-29 at the museum. Michael Moore, a Northrop Grumman engineer, who also worked on the X-29 program, guided the tour.
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