VSKYLABS NASA'S M2-F1 Lifting Body glider
(Current version is for X-Plane 10.32+)
Thanks to "Active" (user at the X-Plane.org) for inner steel structure and pilot (from the pilot collection made by Beber).
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia):
By February 1962, a series of possible shapes had been developed, and R. Dale Reed was working to gain support for a research vehicle.
The construction of the M2-F1 was a joint effort by Dryden and a local glider manufacturer, the Briegleb Glider Company.
The budget was US$30,000.
NASA craftsmen and engineers built the tubular steel interior frame.
Its mahogany plywood shell was handmade by Gus Briegleb and company.
Ernie Lowder, a NASA craftsman who had worked on Howard Hughes' H-4 Hercules (or Spruce Goose), was assigned to help Briegleb.
Final assembly of the remaining components (including aluminum tail surfaces, push rod controls, and landing gear from a Cessna 150,
which was later replaced by Cessna 180 landing gear) was done at the NASA facility.
The wingless, lifting body aircraft design was initially conceived as a means of landing a spacecraft horizontally after atmospheric reentry.
The absence of wings would make the extreme heat of re-entry less damaging to the vehicle. Rather than using a ballistic reentry trajectory like a Command Module, very limited in maneuvering range, a lifting body vehicle had a landing footprint the size of California.
Setup simulation with the option "Start with engine running"
(It will enable power for pitch trim).
Lateral Field-Of-View recommended setting is 65 Degrees.
The glider has no engine, but has landing assist rocket (JATO) for the flare phase.
You can use "Location/Local Map" window to set the M2-F1 at desired location and altitude.
(Set the Airspeed to 100 Knots).
The real M2-F1 had a speed limit of 120 Knots. Use pitch attitude to keep the airspeed during the glide.
Use the pitch trim to release stick loads during the glide.
Use the HUD for easy reading of instrumentation data.
Do not fly below 80 knots, and higher than 120 knots.
(The glider initial trim is set up to maintain a ~110 Knots "hands-free" glide).
Lift to drag ratio is about 2.8 - this glider "falls" from the sky, with no wings to flare.
So, keep your airspeed not below 110 Knots.
Flare technique needs practice. You can use the landing assist rocket to improve touchdown.
Use the HUD to practice flare height:
At about 300 feet above ground level, start the flare firmly.
(RADAR ALT will start to show readings below 2500 feet)
External visibility during the glide and the flare is bad, use the nose windows to see the runway.
Usage of the landing assist rocket is from 350 feet, it will give you a slight "push" for 10 seconds to soften the landing.