MFX-2 was NextGen’s second generation morphing aircraft demonstrator. Another young engineer and myself designed the two degree of freedom mechanisms that allowed the wings to sweep and stretch chord independently.  The aircraft flew several times including an autonomous flight in which is demonstrated maneuvering benefits of it’s unique wing mechanisms.  The research program was funded by DARPA and overseen by NASA.

NextGen Aeronautics – 2007 (

Dana P. Howard – (


One of my first tasks with NextGen Aeronautics was in support of the MFX-1 morphing aircraft program.  A follow on to the N-MAS (NextGen Morphing Aircraft Structures) effort, the aircraft demonstrated stable flight with a single degree of freedom (sweep and chord moved together) stretching wing.  Powered by a single Jet-Cat engine, it flew successfully several times proving NextGen’s morphing concept.  The research  program was sponsored by DARPA and overseen by AFRL.

NextGen Aeronautics – 2005 (

NextGen Aeronautics

NextGen Aeronautics was the first company I joined after college.  Over nine great years I rose from an engineer supporting wind tunnel and UAV efforts to manager of their west coast engineering division.  I couldn’t ask for a better group of people to work with and a more diverse and great set of experiences.


Original photo by Dana P. Howard (


One of the most prominent wind tunnel models NextGen’s team completed, the Boeing SUGAR (subsonic ultra green aircraft research) wind tunnel model investigated the possible benefits of a strut braced wing aircraft design. The dynamically scaled structure, instrumentation, and unique actuation components are NextGen’s forte in the wind tunnel model business.  The test was a success and lives on in new programs exploring further refinements of the design.

NextGen Aeronautics –

Dana P. Howard –