The use of scale models in the design of modern fighter aircraft seems to be rare, wind tunnel models and software is used instead. Is building and flying a scale model of a jet fighter or trainer design an out-dated practice?

NASA tested the HIMAT concept in the 1990s.

HIMAT concept.

  • $\begingroup$ While scale models may teach us a lot about flight characteristics, I would imagine that scale models are not used because wind tunnels & CFD have improved so much, even over the last 20 years, that building & flying scales is too expensive and time consuming in comparison. $\endgroup$ – FreeMan May 5 '17 at 11:23
  • $\begingroup$ Not only about fighters, since NASA built a blended wing body airliner concept. The use of flying scale models is more or less unheard of in designing civillian airliners. $\endgroup$ – stackex555 May 6 '17 at 9:13

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