December 2, 1987: USAF-NASA Sikorsky Helicopter Testing

  • Published
  • Air Force Flight Test Center

The Rotor System Research Aircraft  (RSRA) X-Wing made its first flight, flown by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) test pilot Warren Hall and Sikorsky Aircraft test pilot Dick Faull. Sikorsky built the highly unusual Rotor Systems Research Aircraft for a joint Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA/NASA) project to study the flight capabilities of a single vehicle that combined rotary-wing and conventional aircraft technologies. The RSRA was designed to take off and land vertically with a large four-bladed rotor, and to achieve high horizontal speeds with the rotor locked in an X-wing *configuration. The initial flight was planned as a conventional liftoff following a high-speed taxi run with the rotary wing not activated.

Mr. G. Warren Hall earned a degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Virginia and Masters degrees in Aerospace Engineering and Business Administration from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Mr. Hall began flying in high school. Upon graduation from the UVA he became a Naval Aviator, amassing over 300 carrier landings flying the F4B Phantom II from the USS Saratoga. Following his Navy tour, he joined Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory of Cornell University as an Engineering Test Pilot. He was noted for his expertise in aircraft handling qualities and electronic flight control systems. In 1977 he came to NASA Ames Research Center as a Research Pilot. He flew numerous experimental research aircraft, including the X-22A, XV-14B, XV-15, and X-Wing Aircraft. He is a Fellow in the Society of Experimental Test Pilots. He completed 28 years of military service, concluding as the Commander of the 129th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Group of the California Air National Guard. He managed the NASA Ames Airborne Science and Flight Research Aircraft Programs until 1998 when he became the Director of the Safety, Environmental and Mission Assurance Directorate.


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