Aircraft Wiki
Grumman X-29
the X-29

the X-29

Role Technology demonstrator
Crew 1
First flight 14th December 1984
Entered service Never
Manufacturer Grumman Aerospace Corporation
Produced 2
Length 14.66 m
Wingspan 8.25 m
Height 4.27 m
Wing area 17.54 m²
Empty 6,169 kg
Loaded 7,983 kg
Maximum takeoff
Engine 1 × General Electric F404-GE400
Power (each) 71.2 kN
Maximum speed 2,019 km/h
Cruising speed
Range 560 km
Ceiling 16,800 m
Rate of climb

The Grumman X-29 is an experimental fighter, with forward swepted wings, based on the F-5. Some parts of it, for example the fuselage, are taken from the F-5 Tiger (actually from the single engine F-20, a derivative of the F-5). To save money, parts of the F-16 Fighting Falcon and F/A-18 Hornet were also used. For emergency situations it is equipped with a drogue parachute. On the inlets, canards, like on the Eurofighter Typhoon, are monted and behind of them are the forward swepted wings.

The advantages of forward swepted wings are the better agility, higher angles of attack, beacause of more buoyancy and a lower stall speed than on most of the other aircraft.

The Russian equal to the X-29 is the Sukhoi Su-47 Berkut.


The first flight of the first X-29A (No. 82-0003) was on 14th December 1984, flown by testpilot Chuck Swell. On 13th December 1985 the first supersonic flight with a forward-swept wing aircraft was made; all in all it absolved 242 flights. Testing with the "Forward Swept Wing Demonstrator" was successful and a second prototype was built. This aircaft was able to fly at angles of attack of 66 degrees in the year 1990 (the controls of the first one allowed only 24 degrees).

However the Department of Defence was not interested in it anymore, so that the X-29-program was cancelled after 437 flights in the year 1992.