I find engineering videos like this fascinating. But it was the video thumbnail that piqued my interest because it just looks so wrong.
In the 1950’s Robert Thomas Jones, a brilliant NASA engineer, began developing a radical new wing arrangement called an oblique wing (also referred to as a skewed wing). The wing design was characterized by a wing that could pivot into a unique angled configuration in relation to the aircraft’s fuselage. The design offered several advantages over more conventional swept wings. An oblique wing’s ability to pivot into a straight wing made it ideal for low speed flight (improving efficiency and take-off/landing performance), but at transonic and supersonic speeds, the angled orientation minimized both wave and induced drag, leading to improved overall aerodynamic efficiency. With lower drag at higher speeds, oblique wing aircraft would require less thrust to maintain a given speed, resulting in reduced fuel consumption and operating costs. Compared to other variable geometry wings, oblique wings would also be lighter, less complex and have fewer drawbacks like a shifting center of lift.
A shoutout to the production quality of the Mustard YouTube videos, too. Well worth a subscribe.