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 – (

Wind Tunnel JWB

NextGen built three models for competing companies as part of the Aerodynamic Efficiency Improvement program. Boeing’s concept, shown here, involved a joined wing concept. The model included 13 hydraulic actuators, a dense sensor suite of accelerometers, gyroscopes, and others, and even “flew” in the wind tunnel along the vertical rail passing through the center body. The model proved successful and the data is still being scrutinized for possible future applications.

NextGen Aeronautics –

Dana P. Howard –

FOD Finder

One of my early projects with NextGen Aeronautics was the fabrication and integration of a milimeter wave radar system, camera, computers, and software for the location and identification of FOD (foreign objects and debris) on commercial runways.  The FAA purchased several vehicles and tested them in Chicago and Hawaii among other places.  The concept and radar were created by Trex Enterprises of San Diego CA.

FOD Finder –

Trex Enterprises –

NextGen Aeronautics –

Dana P. Howard –