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September 22, 1999
QuestChat with Bob Griffiths

Aerodynamics Engineer
The Boeing Company, Seattle, WA


Wed Sep 22 11:06:26
The host's featured url: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/qchats

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 3 - 09:40:58 ]
Hello to our early arriving Aerospace Team Online chat participants. Today's High Speed Civil Transport (HSCT) chat with Bob Griffiths from Boeing will begin in about 20 minutes. Be sure you have read Bob's profile at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/team/griffiths.html to prepare you questions.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 4 - 09:43:01 ]
Bob will attempt to answer as many of your questions as he can, but please be patient. Today's chat will be MODERATED if Bob falls behind with your questions. This means only a few questions will be posted to the chat room at a time. But DON'T WORRY if you don't see your questions on your screen as soon as you post them. We will post them as soon as Bob catches up.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 5 - 09:44:18 ]
Don't forget to share your thoughts about today's chat with us. Be sure to stop by our QuestChat Information Center at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/qchats to fill out our online surveys. We look forward to hearing from you!

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 6 - 10:03:45 ]
Hello and welcome to today's Aerospace Team Online chat with Bob Griffiths from Boeing!

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 7 - 10:03:57 ]
Bob uses computers to design new flaps and wings for airplanes. He also conducts research about how airplanes fly at low speeds, like when they are landing and taking off. He sends his designs to model builders, who create wind tunnel test models for his research. Additionally, Bob works with high-speed [civil transport] researchers who design special wings for cruising at high speeds, and noise researchers who try to minimize the noise impact of these planes.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 8 - 10:04:15 ]
And now, here is Bob Griffiths to answer your questions.

[ Bob/Boeing - 10 - 10:04:27 ]
RE: [Oran/NASAChatHost] Bob uses computers to design new flaps and wings for airplanes. He also conducts research about how airplanes fly at low speeds, like when they are landing and taking off. He sends his designs to model builders, who create wind tunnel test models for his research. Additionally, Bob works with high-speed [civil transport] researchers who design special wings for cruising at high speeds, and noise researchers who try to minimize the noise impact of these planes.
Hello everybody!

[ Bob/Boeing - 11 - 10:05:37 ]
RE: [Jacque] How long does it take to go from computer model to a real model?
Hi Jacque! Wow, great question right off the bat. Sort of depends on how quickly you need the model. For this past NASA wind tunnel I was involved in, it took a little less than a year.

[ Bob/Boeing - 12 - 10:07:31 ]
RE: [Bob/Boeing] Hi Jacque! Wow, great question right off the bat. Sort of depends on how quickly you need the model. For this past NASA wind tunnel I was involved in, it took a little less than a year.
Jacque - as a follow up to your question, I must say that Boeing among others have been trying to figure out ways to get models out from the computer to the wind tunnel a lot quicker. One goal is called the "Six Day Model".

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 14 - 10:08:52 ]
RE: [Marthita-Mrs.Schaul/LutherBurbankSchool] You said you liked airplanes, which is your favorite?
Welcome to today's chat, Luther Burbank School. We're glad you could join us!

[ Bob/Boeing - 15 - 10:09:41 ]
RE: [Marthita-Mrs.Schaul/LutherBurbankSchool] You said you liked airplanes, which is your favorite?
Hi there Marthita! Yes, I like airplanes. I must say that my favorite is probably the P-51 Mustang, a World War II fighter. Of course I tell my boss that my favorite plane is the one I'm currently working on!

[ Bob/Boeing - 17 - 10:13:27 ]
RE: [Salina-Mrs.Schaul/LutherBurbankSchool] How many flaps can a wing have?
A commercial airplane is usually limited to two sets of flaps per side. Often the flaps are designed to accordion out in segments. Does this answer your question?

[ Bob/Boeing - 18 - 10:14:38 ]
RE: [Bob/Boeing] A commercial airplane is usually limited to two sets of flaps per side. Often the flaps are designed to accordion out in segments. Does this answer your question?
Flaps can also be used to help roll an airplane, similar to an aileron. These flaps are called "flaperons".

[ Bob/Boeing - 20 - 10:16:03 ]
RE: [Cynthia-Mrs.Schaul/LutherBurbankSchool] Besides the wing design, do you have other ideas on how to make a plane go faster?
Flying higher helps an airplane fly higher - there is less air and therefore less drag the higher up you go. Also, bigger and more efficient engines will obviously help!

[ Bob/Boeing - 21 - 10:17:39 ]
RE: [Bob/Boeing] Flying higher helps an airplane fly higher - there is less air and therefore less drag the higher up you go. Also, bigger and more efficient engines will obviously help!
Question to Mrs. Schaul's class - Luther Burbank is in San Jose isn't it? If you haven't already, I highly recommend visiting the NASA-Ames research Center. They have all kinds of cool aerospace stuff.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 24 - 10:19:21 ]
RE: [Abraham-AbrahamMiller/self] What do you know about the British "Griffith Aerofoil"-it is the one where you have a favourable gradient all the way almost to the trailing edge at which point suction is applied at an inflexion point of the profile and pressure recovery is made??
Welcome, Abraham. Thank you for joining us today.

[ Bob/Boeing - 27 - 10:21:10 ]
RE: [Oran/NASAChatHost] Welcome, Abraham. Thank you for joining us today.
Abraham, I must say that I like the name of the airfoil!

[ Bob/Boeing - 29 - 10:22:35 ]
RE: [Abraham-AbrahamMiller/self] What do you know about the British "Griffith Aerofoil"-it is the one where you have a favourable gradient all the way almost to the trailing edge at which point suction is applied at an inflexion point of the profile and pressure recovery is made??
I am not familiar with this particular airfoil. However, in the HSR program we were very interested in the possibility of obtaining a favorable pressure gradient as far aft as possible for the purposes of investigating extended laminar runs, both subsonic and supersonically. Active suction was also investigated. NASA Dryden was key in this work.

[ Bob/Boeing - 30 - 10:22:49 ]
RE: [Cindy-Mrs.Schaul/LutherBurbankSchool] About how long do you spend at the computer to complete a new design or project?
Cindy - as long as the coffee lasts! ;-) This normally depends on the deadlines that the boss puts on a particular project. When the project is new and I am still tweaking designs on the computer, I'll stay on for many hours - all day if I have too. For me the excitement is finishing up the computer work and building real parts! Makes the computer work worthwhile!

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 31 - 10:23:47 ]
RE: [Abraham-AbrahamMiller/self] When do I get an answer, I'm new to chat rooms.
Abraham, Bob has answered your last question. Please give him a few minutes to answer each of your questions before submitting new ones to the chat room. Thank you for your patience.

[ Bob/Boeing - 32 - 10:25:57 ]
RE: [Bob/Boeing] I am not familiar with this particular airfoil. However, in the HSR program we were very interested in the possibility of obtaining a favorable pressure gradient as far aft as possible for the purposes of investigating extended laminar runs, both subsonic and supersonically. Active suction was also investigated. NASA Dryden was key in this work.
A favorable pressure gradient is nice to have over a wing as it tends to prevent separation - which is bad and draggy for an airplane. Sometimes in the real world it is hard to do naturally.

[ Bob/Boeing - 35 - 10:28:50 ]
RE: [Jessica-Mrs.Schaul/LutherBurbankSchool] We have been testing paper airplanes for distance designs, is there a good wing design that is best for distance?
A good example of good performing long distance airplanes is the one designed by Burt Rutan and flown by Dick Rutan and Yaeger around the world non-stop. The wings were very long compared to their width (high aspect ratio). High aspect ratio is good for reducing drag due to lift and increases range. They have a nice web site ...

[ Bob/Boeing - 36 - 10:29:43 ]
RE: [Abraham-AbrahamMiller/self] The Griffith aerofoil is mentioned in Thwaites book on incompressible aerodynamics. The Australians used it for wings but the energy involved in the suction process did not pay for itself in reduced drag, I myself am interested mainly in low speed home-builts and think of it more for a fuselage shape or at least a canopy shape.
Interesting Abraham. You've piqued my curiosity - I'll check it out.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 37 - 10:31:53 ]
EVERYONE, as a reminder, be sure to share your thoughts about today's chat with us at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/qchats after today's chat.

[ Bob/Boeing - 38 - 10:31:59 ]
RE: [Salina-Mrs.Schaul/LutherBurbankSchool] Will more flaps help slow faster planes down quicker?
Hi Salina! Thanks for waiting. More flaps, when put down (deployed) will slow the plane down faster by creating more drag. Kind of like putting your hand out the car window, palm forward - your hand wants to go backwards (drag!) Flaps are used to help land an airplane, when you want to be going slow anyway.

[ Bob/Boeing - 40 - 10:34:34 ]
RE: [Makayla-Mrs.Schaul/LutherBurbankSchool] How many years did you go to collage?
Hi Makayla! It took me about 7 years to get my 2 degrees.

[ Bob/Boeing - 43 - 10:38:15 ]
RE: [Bob/Boeing] Interesting Abraham. You've piqued my curiosity - I'll check it out.
You're right, the additional weight of an active boundary layer suction system has got to buy its way onto an airplane - we aerodynamicists love it but the weights group hates the additional weight - reduces range and increases cost. Someday ...

[ Bob/Boeing - 45 - 10:40:02 ]
RE: [Sergio-Mrs.Schaul/LutherBurbankSchool] Do you do all the design work yourself, or do you work in a team, if so how many other people do you work with?
Sergio - this is a great question. There are a few researchers that work by themselves but most good design work is done in teams. The group I am in now has between 4 and 8 people (changes all the time), and at any given time I may be involved in several groups working on a variety of projects. Team experience is a great way to prepare for a career in engineering.

[ Bob/Boeing - 46 - 10:41:28 ]
RE: [JessicaR-Mrs.Schaul/LutherBurbankSchool] How much does aerodynamic engineers earn?
Jessica, you are definitely engineering material! right now aerospace engineers right out of college with a Bachelors Degree can expect to earn around $40,000 per year.

[ Bob/Boeing - 48 - 10:43:34 ]
RE: [Abraham-AbrahamMiller/self] I'm at Kinkos and I do not want to run up too big a bill. If you have the time please send any further thoughts on the matter to Abraham_Miller@excite.com. I am an amateur arm chair aerodynamicist and while I possess a computer a DEC Personal Workstation 500a, I don't have a safe, dustfree, cool,dry place to set it up and have to go to a public computer room to access URLs. But It opens at 11 AM PDST. Nice to "be here" . Thank You and Goodbye
Will do, Abraham. Feel free to e-mail [Oran Cox at ocox@mail.arc.nasa.gov], and he will [contact] me. Best of luck to you!

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 49 - 10:43:43 ]
RE: [JessicaR-Mrs.Schaul/LutherBurbankSchool] How much does aerodynamic engineers earn?
Jessica, this partially depends on where you work. Salaries may be higher or lower in different areas of the country or the world. But just make sure you are happy with your career choice first.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 50 - 10:44:59 ]
We have about 15 minutes remaining in today's chat with Bob Griffiths.

[ Bob/Boeing - 51 - 10:45:46 ]
RE: [Oran/NASAChatHost] Jessica, this partially depends on where you work. Salaries may be higher or lower in different areas of the country or the world. But just make sure you are happy with your career choice first.
Jessica, I definitely agree with [Oran] -- something you love to do first! Explore . . .

[ Bob/Boeing - 53 - 10:47:52 ]
RE: [Felicia-Mrs.Schaul/LutherBurbankSchool] Did your parents give you any advice on your career choices?
Felicia, I was and am very lucky to have parents that did not push me into any particular career. They constantly exposed me to new things and did not discourage me in trying new things. It was helpful to me to have grown up on various Air Force bases around the world - lots of airplanes to watch!

[ Bob/Boeing - 55 - 10:50:18 ]
RE: [Makayla-Mrs.Schaul/LutherBurbankSchool] What matterials are the models made from?
Makayla, most of the models I work with are made of aluminum for strength; for models that have to withstand higher forces like in pressurized tunnels, parts can be made of special types of steel.

[ Bob/Boeing - 56 - 10:52:24 ]
RE: [Bob/Boeing] Makayla, most of the models I work with are made of aluminum for strength; for models that have to withstand higher forces like in pressurized tunnels, parts can be made of special types of steel.
Makayla, since you are in San Jose and near NASA Ames Research Center [at Moffett Field], you may be interested to know that the NASA Ames 12 foot pressure tunnel requires proper materials be used to withstand the high forces the models can be subjected to - perhaps you can get a tour and see some of the models ...?

[ Bob/Boeing - 58 - 10:56:50 ]
RE: [MrsSchaulsClass-Mrs.Schaul/LutherBurbankSchool] We would like to thank you for your time, Mr. Griffiths. We learned a lot and now plan to redesign our wing designs on our airplanes. Thank you for all the information.
You're very welcome! Can you show me your wing designs? Is this a class project?

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 59 - 10:57:01 ]
At this time, we would like to thank all of you for joining us for today's Aerospace Team Online chat with Bob Griffiths from Boeing. We would also like to extend our special thanks to Bob for his thoughtful responses to our questions and sharing his real-world experience and expertise with us!

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 61 - 10:59:47 ]
Please join us for our next HSCT/Aerospace Team Online chat with Mina Cappuccio from NASA Ames Research Center. This chat will occur on Tuesday, September 28, at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time. Be sure to read Mina's profile at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/team/cappuccio.html to prepare your questions.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 62 - 11:00:59 ]
Check our online schedule of events at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/common/events to learn about our upcoming chats.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 64 - 11:04:04 ]
Be sure to share your thoughts about today's chat with us at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/qchats. Thank you for joining us and have a great day!

 
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