Science: Scissor-Wings for NASA

Odd design cuts the cost of high-speed flying

Rolling down the runway, the little twin-engine jet looked like any rich man's weekend toy, but as it picked up speed over the California airstrip and began climbing, the craft underwent a bizarre and visually unsettling transformation. Its wing began slowly to swing around—its right half angling forward in the direction of flight, the left back.

This flying pair of scissors looked like the joke of some eccentric inventor. In fact, the 38-ft.-long aircraft is a test design that comes from the same no-nonsense people who created the space shuttle. Pursuing what NASA officials refer...

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