The Northtrop HL-10




Northrop HL-10 (model)

In mid-1964 Northrop Corporation was contracted by the U.S. National Aeronautics and
Space Administration (NASA) to produce two allmetal wingless lifting body re-entry research
vehicles, based on experience gained with the Northrop M2-F1 glider, which made more than
500 flights in 1963-64. The two new vehicles were designated M2-F2 and HL-10 (Horizontal
Landing, 10th concept) and differed in under and upper surface fuselage shapes. First flight of the
HL-10 was on December 22, 1966 during which it had major control problems requiring minor
changes to the shape of the vertical fins. The first 11 drop flights from a B-52 launch aircraft were
powerless glide flights to assess handling qualities, stability and control. The HL-10 was flown 37
times and with the use of a rocket engine reached 1,228 miles per hour and an altitude of 90,000


The actual HL-10 craft had a width of 15 feet, was about 22 feet long and about 11 feet high
and had a launch weight of about 9,400 pounds.



The data collected during the lifting body program helped in the development of the Space Shuttle.


Click here to see more lifting body video on youtube



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