SOFIA air-to-air with aerodynamic tufts

SOFIA air-to-air with aerodynamic tufts


With its primary mirror covered by a protective sun shade, the German-built infrared telescope nestled in its cavity in the rear fuselage of NASA's SOFIA flying observatory is easily visible in this close-up image taken during a test flight. The small blue lines surrounding the telescope cavity are aerodynamic tufts to visibly show how air flows over the cavity in different flight attitudes.

NASA/Jim Ross
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