F-104CCV (control configured vehicle) 98+36 close up

The first artificially stabilized aircraft, the experimental aircraft F104CCV, took off from Manching on November 20.1980.
It was the first take-off in a so-called E1-configuration, i.e. a destabilizing canard wing was mounted onto the fuselage behind the cockpit.
A modified F-104G Starfighter was used to test the CCV flight control system (Control Configured Vehicle).
For the experimental program natural stability was renounced.
Parallel to the flight control system normally installed in the F-104 series production aircraft a newly developed
digital "fly-by-wire" flight control system assured an "artificial" stabilization of the unstable test aircraft
and the appropriate and required flight properties of longitudinal and lateral movements.
The ability to artificially stabilize unstable aircraft configurations was a prerequisite for the design of a new
military and commercial aircraft generation and is still considered to be a key technology area.
The technology used for the CCV program was the starting point for the design and development of the flight control system for Eurofighter.

During the 45 minute test flight, CCV project pilot Nils Meister was at the controls of the modified Starfighter.
Although the mounting of destabilizing canard wings considerably changed the aerodynamic characteristics of a normal F-104G,
the CCV flight control system ensured stable flight characteristics.

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