To anyone familiar with aircraft, they will not help but notice that one design trait unifies them all — their symmetry. But, in the second half of the 20th-century, one NASA engineer decided to break the mold, ultimately leading to the development of the NASA AD-1, an asymmetrical pivot winged jet plane.

While ultimately the aircraft would prove to be a dead-end, it did show that thinking outside of the box, can, and often will yield extraordinary results.

What was the NASA AD-1?

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The NASA AD-1 was an experimental aircraft (and program) developed by researchers at NASA during the late 1970s and early 1980s. It was developed, built, and tested at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, California, and demonstrated the concept of using oblique wings (or "scissor wings") on aircraft.