October 6, 1998
QuestChat with Craig Hange
Aerospace Engineer, Low-Speed Aerodynamics
NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA
- 1 - 10:07:35 ]
Today's chat with Craig Hange will begin at 11 a.m., PST (2 p.m., EST).
"See you" soon... Please be sure to read Craig's bio BEFORE you start asking
questions. Go to: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/team/hange.html
- 3 - 10:45:11 ]
RE: [Deb-Mrs.Regal/YpsilantiCOPE] I am sorry
to say that due to teacher illness, Ypsilanti COPE will need to cancel
participation in today's chat. We will be sure to check it out in the
We're very sorry to hear that you won't be able to participate in today's
chat. We hope you feel better soon :-)
- 5 - 11:01:38 ]
RE: [Sandy/NASAChatHost] Hello everyone and welcome to
today's chat with Craig Hange from NASA's Ames Research Center near San
Francisco, California. Craig has been busy testing large models and actual
aircraft in the largest wind tunnel in the world. He is also part of a
team that works with the Joint Strike Fighter program that uses models
of fighters that use high-pressure air to simulate jet thrust. Another
very intriguing project is Craig's work on the Wright Flyer Test, in which
an exact replica of the Wright Brother's airplane will be tested in the
- 6 - 11:03:46 ]
A reminder before we officially begin today's chat-- Please be sure to
take a few minutes when the chat is over to let us know what you thought
about it. Please use our online feedback forms at: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/qchats/qchat-surveys
- 9 - 11:08:12 ]
Hi everybody...My name is Alec, I'm from Dominican Republic, I just graduate
from school and I will begin my Aerospace career in january.
- 13 - 11:15:09 ]
Some recent activity involving the Wright Flyer: We installed the airplane
on the sting that it will be on inside the tunnel. We did this so we could
test all of the pieces built to hold the plane. We are going to be meeting
the folks from the AIAA this weekend to do more work on the airplane.
We are currently on the wind tunnel schedule for March 1, 1999.
xxx [ Sandy/NASAChatHost
- 18 - 11:18:00 ]
RE: [Sarabeth/Briones] I notice that this chat
is from Ames Research Center and the last one was from Langley. How come
they have two centers with windtunnels. Are the ones at Ames special or
Welcome Sara Lee and very good question :-)
- 19 - 11:18:26 ]
RE: [Sandy/NASAChatHost] OK Craig, I'm going to start because
I have always wanted to know what it's like inside those HUGE wind tunnels.
Is it noisy when you're working in there? Do you feel like you're going
to get blown away?
Actually, when the tunnel is operating, we are in the control room under
the tunnel. It's quiet in there, air conditioned, and we even have a break
room. Someone always brings in something to eat. It's actually quite pleasant.
We can't have people inside the wind tunnel during tunnel operation. At
full speed our tunnel runs at 115 mph, so you would get literally, blown
- 21 - 11:19:01 ]
Hello Craig. My second students are being helped by my 5th and 6th grade
students. This is the first chat for 2nd grade.
Welcome Mrs. Mock and your 2nd, 5th & 6th grade students!
- 24 - 11:27:32 ]
RE: [Sarabeth/Briones] I notice that this
chat is from Ames Research Center and the last one was from Langley. How
come they have two centers with windtunnels. Are the ones at Ames special
There are actually 3 NASA facilities with wind tunnels. They are of all
different sizes. The reason for the different sizes is they run at different
speeds and test different scale models. Our wind tunnel, the 80 X 120
can test full-size aircraft in it, but at relatively (for aircraft) slow
speeds. One of the other tunnels we work closely with is the Langely 14
X 22. It can run at faster speeds but it is smaller, so scale models of
aircraft need to be built for testing there. NASA and industry have a
lot of tunnels in order to test the full range of airplanes at many different
- 26 - 11:31:20 ]
What kind of airplane are you going to make?
The reason I'm talking to you today is that we are going to test the Wright
Flyer. This airplane was built by Orville and Wilbur Wright in 1903, almost
100 years ago. It was the first airplane. However, no one has any data
on how it flew. That's why we are doing this test.
- 28 - 11:33:41 ]
What is AIAA?
The AIAA stands for the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
It is an organization made up of various members of the aerospace industry.
It promotes publicity and education in the study of airplanes and spacecraft.
- 30 - 11:35:10 ]
Is it going to be a fire plane?
No, the Wright Flyer didn't fly well enough, or was capable of carrying
a lot of water like a fire plane.
- 32 - 11:38:23 ]
RE: [Sarabeth/Briones] Why did the Wright Brothers
use cloth, it does sound sturdy or is it like blue jeans?
The cloth the Wright Bros. used isn't nearly as heavy as blue jeans. It's
more like cotton in a shirt or blouse. They needed a material that was
lightweight, and yet, could be sewn together over a sturdy, lightweight
frame. Airplanes made of metals such as aluminum didn't appear until the
- 35 - 11:42:12 ]
RE: [A.Subero/A.H.school] Mr. Hange, What type
of aircrafts you test more often?
Most of the airplanes we test at NASA are the aircraft of the future,
such as the supersonic transport, or a large wide-body jet, or even the
next Air Force fighter. These are the planes that will be flying by the
time you're working and traveling. It takes many years to develop new
airplanes. Who knows, you may ride in or pilot one of these airplanes.
- 36 - 11:43:35 ]
Is the model going to be a big model or a little model?
The Wright Flyer that we are testing is built exactly to the same dimensions
as Orville and Wilbur did. That means it is 40 feet wid by about 15 feet
- 38 - 11:45:42 ]
RE: [A.Subero/A.H.school] How are you going
to collect the data you need?
We collect the data with a computer. The different instruments we use
convert the measurements into an electronic signal which the computer
can record and translate into information. In fact, the computer is an
ordinary Macintosh just like the one I'm using right now.
- 39 - 11:46:59 ]
Do you like your job?
I enjoy my job when I get to work on projects like this one. I also like
testing new airplanes too. I guess the one thing I don't like is meetings.
- 41 - 11:50:40 ]
EVERYONE: JUST TO LET YOU KNOW, THERE ARE 10 MINUTES LEFT. KEEP THOSE
QUESTIONS COMING :-)
- 42 - 11:51:22 ]
Do you bild airplanes by your self?
It takes a lot of people to build an airplane. An airplane such as 737
or 747 commercial transport takes hundreds of people, all doing different
jobs about 2-4 weeks just to assemble. If you start from the beginning,
there are thousands of people working for about 10 years involved.
- 43 - 11:54:11 ]
What is a wind tunnel?
A wind tunnel is a large building with a very large set of fans in it
that blow air over a model of an airplane, or car, etc. The model is attached
to a force measuring device, which can tell you how the airflow is effecting
the model. This way we can test a small, inexpensive model before building
the real airplane.
- 45 - 11:56:31 ]
We just found some pictures of it. Can you fly that plane?
Well, the folks from the AIAA are sure gonna try. Hopefully, our test
will give them enough information to modify another model of the same
plane that they can fly at least as long as Wilbur did on the fourth flight
of 17 Dec 1903. (59 seconds, 852 feet)
- 46 - 11:58:14 ]
EVERYONE: There are about 3 minutes left in today's chat. Be sure to let
us know what you thought about today's chat by answering a few questions
for us at: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/qchats/qchat-surveys
- 48 - 11:59:45 ]
Leanne is with me and she has a question, How do you make the models?
A wind tunnel model can be built many ways. They can be built similiar
to airplanes, but that is usually too expensive. Very frequently, small
models are carved from pieces of metal and assembled with nuts and bolts.
Larger models are sometimes built of wood like furniture, then covered
with fiberglass to give them a smooth surface like that of a real airplane.
- 50 - 12:01:15 ]
Now Katie is with me, How do you get the supplies to build the plane?
Just like anything else, cars, boats, houses, etc. We get materials from
businesses that sell those things.
- 52 - 12:02:42 ]
Nima is with me, How many days does it take to biuld it?
A modern airplane takes about 2-4 weeks to assemble. From the initial
idea to the final airplane can take 10 years.
- 53 - 12:03:39 ]
EVERYONE: It's time for Craig to get back to the Wright Flyer. Thank you
all for joining us today! You asked some very good questions! And a special
thank you to Craig for taking the time to to answer our questions today.
We really appreciate it! We look forward to seeing you all again in another
chat very soon :-) Don't forget to tell us what you think about your chat
experience today at: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/qchats/qchat-surveys
- 57 - 12:05:58 ]
Now it is lunch time Thank you for answering our questions we really learned
I'm glad to help. I hope to see some of the children working for NASA
someday. Keep studying!