Image of the Air Force wings with the museum name underneath

Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
FREE Admission & Parking

NASA/Boeing X-36

In the mid-1990s, NASA and the Boeing (then McDonnell Douglas) “Phantom Works” built two unmanned X-36 Tailless Fighter Agility Research Aircraft to develop technology for a maneuverable, tailless fighter. The X-36s were about a quarter of the size of a potential future fighter.

Though two were built, only the museum’s X-36 actually flew. The first X-36 flight occurred in May 1997, and the flight test program met or exceeded all of the project’s goals -- a remarkable achievement.

The next year, the USAF’s Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) used the museum’s X-36 to test its RESTORE (Reconfigurable Control for Tailless Fighter Aircraft) software. AFRL developed this software to save a tailless fighter in case its control system was damaged or malfunctioned. In December 1998, the X-36 made two successful RESTORE flights.

The X-36 on display came to the museum in April 2003. The X-36 "cockpit" and forward fuselage areas were autographed by personnel associated with the program before Boeing donated the aircraft to the museum.

Williams International F112 turbojet engine of about 700 lbs. thrust
Maximum speed: 234 mph
Highest flight: 20,200 feet
Gross weight: 1,245 lbs.

Click here to return to the Research & Development Gallery.

Find Out More
Related Fact Sheets
Williams International F112-WR-100 Turbofan Engine