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[ Steve/Ames - 6 - 10:01:19 ]
RE: [Eric-AndersonElemSchool] Do you ever make drawings of airplanes?
Well, do you mean artistic drawings, or engineering drawings to describe the exact shape?

[ Susan/NASAChatHost - 7 - 10:03:23 ]
Welcome to our chat this morning if you have questions for Steve you can go ahead and ask!

[ Steve/Ames - 8 - 10:03:35 ]
RE: [Steve/Ames] Well, do you mean artistic drawings, or engineering drawings to describe the exact shape?
When I was younger, in school, I used to draw artistic drawings very often...especially of sailplanes and world war II fighter planes. Now, I mostly do design layout drawings, for wind tunnel models.

[ Susan/NASAChatHost - 13 - 10:08:12 ]
RE: [Mike-Deborah/YpsilantiCOPE] How fast can you make the wind flow in the wind tunnel?
Well, we have a whole family of wind tunnels with different speed ranges. 1st, there are low speed wind tunnels where the air moves about 100-200 mph. Some of these are the largest wind tunnels in the world - you can put a full-size airplane in our 80 ft x 120 ft tunnel. 2nd, we have transonic wind tunnels that run between 400 - 1000 mph. These are the most frequently used, because most modern airplanes fly in this speed range, and because the flow is complicated and harder to predict with computers. 3rd, we have supersonic wind tunnels that go up to 3000 mph, and finally, we have hypersonic tunnels that can't make a steady flow, but for a very short "blow" can go about 10,000 mph

[ Steve/Ames - 14 - 10:09:36 ]
RE: [Eric-AndersonElemSchool] I meant by hand what's the difference between engineering and artisitic
Oh, well if you draw a picture to look like an airplane, thats artistic. If you draw a picture to communicate a certain idea or concept, or to be really exact so someone can make it from your picture, thats engineering.

[ Steve/Ames - 19 - 10:14:22 ]
RE: [Kaylie-Kaylie/YokayoSchool] Dear Mr. Smith, Is it confusing learning all the gears in or on the spacecraft?
I don't know very much about spacecraft. I work on designing airplanes. When I look inside a space capsule at a museum, like the Gemini capsule here at Ames, its just amazing to me how many gages and switches there are. What if they pushed the wrong switch?!

[ Kaylie-Kaylie/YokayoSchool - 21 - 10:16:09 ]
When will you send the next woman to the moon?

[ Susan/NASAChatHost - 22 - 10:16:13 ]
Welcome Kaylie where is Yokayo school?

[ Steve/Ames - 23 - 10:16:29 ]
RE: [Eric-AndersonElemSchool] How can it go 10,000 miles per hour?
These "blow-down" tunnels are a tube with a tank at each end. One tank has hot, high-pressure air, and the other tank has a vacuum. When you open the valve between them, the air rushes down the tube. By shaping a nozzle in the tube, you can make the flow speed up. The limit is that the flow also gets very cold, which is why we heat it first.

[ Steve/Ames - 26 - 10:17:39 ]
RE: [Deborah-Deborah/YpsilantiCOPE] What kind of plane are you building?
My home-built plane is an RV-8...you can look at them at www.vansaircraft.com and see about the kit airplanes they sell.

[ Steve/Ames - 29 - 10:19:27 ]
RE: [Kaylie-Kaylie/YokayoSchool] Do you think living man will go to Mars? And what year?
I don't know if we'll ever really send a person to Mars. I think we'll send lots of robot-type spacecraft there, like we did this summer. We can learn a lot about the planets that way, and its not dangerous to astronauts. I know, its not as much fun either...but we have to decide what the reason would be to actually have a person there instead of a robot.

[ Steve/Ames - 31 - 10:20:51 ]
RE: [Kaylie-Kaylie/YokayoSchool] When will you send the next woman to the moon?
I don't know when we're going to send anyone to the moon. But I hope when we do, that women are part of the mission. It would be silly not to - some of our best astronauts are women! Even a couple that used to work here at NASA Ames.

[ Kaylie-Kaylie/YokayoSchool - 32 - 10:21:02 ]
Tomarrow our class is going to NASA . Maybe we will see you there . Thank you for your time.

[ Susan/NASAChatHost - 35 - 10:24:25 ]
RE: [Carol-CarolLatorre/Spain] Do you know of any shcools in the States that have summer programs with NASA?
Carol The NASA home page has information about internships at http://www.nasa.gov/qanda/why_nasa.html#NASAjob

[ Steve/Ames - 37 - 10:24:57 ]
RE: [Carol-CarolLatorre/Spain] I'm studying aerospace engineering, what would be the best field to specialize in nowadays?
Well, if you like space stuff, that field is always going to be growing - we will be using satellites for research, communication, navigation, maybe even transportation. I really like subsonic airplane design, but there are some people that think that field had kind of run its course, that there's not much new to discover...but I disagree - theres still so much we don't totally understand, like turbulence, and boundary layer transition, and interaction of the different parts of the flow, like how the engine flow changes the performance of the wings. We have great computer simulations now that we didn't have 15 years ago...its time to put those simulations to good use to learn more about the details of the flow. So you could study fluid mechanics, or flying qualities, or aerodynamics.

[ Steve/Ames - 39 - 10:27:14 ]
RE: [Carol-CarolLatorre/Spain] Do you know of any shcools in the States that have summer programs with NASA?
Yes, there is now a new summer internship program...Its managed by one university but you don't need to go to that university to participate - they just organize it...I was just reading about this new program last week..I can't remember which school, but if you contact NASA Ames Training Programs office, they can help. If not, E-mail me back and I'll find out for you.

[ Steve/Ames - 41 - 10:30:06 ]
RE: [Dan-Deborah/YpsilantiCOPE] What are joined wing aircraft going to be used to do?
One possibility for Joined Wings is a new cargo plane that can fly half way around the world. it would be bigger than a C-5a. The joined wings help stiffen those big long wings. Another possibility is a radar platform to replace the E-3 AWCS, because the diamond shape of the joined wings makes it easy to put antennas that can see all the way around, so you don't need that flat disk on top. Another possibility might be for a tanker to re-fuel other airplanes. the wing joints are good places to trail the refueling booms.

[ Steve/Ames - 43 - 10:32:46 ]
RE: [CarolLatorre/Spain] Knowing that the aviation has developed depending on the improvement of materials, would you recoment to go into this field?
Yes, actually materials are probably more responsible for technology breakthroughs in aeronautics than anything else. I took some materials classes in college and I just loved them - had a great professor too. Anyway, metals will always be important, but new composites, and the art of designing with composites, is a great field. Also testing of materials for defects without damaging the structure is a big field...they call it NDT (non-destructive testing) so you could find cracks in a wing before it broke.

[ Steve/Ames - 46 - 10:35:35 ]
RE: [CarolLatorre/Spain] I've seen on the net the design of the X33 and how it differs from common airplanes, I believe that is what you were refering to, do you work with anything that has to do with that?
The special thing about the X-33 is that it goes into orbit with a rocket, and then flys back and lands like an airplane. The space shuttle does that too, but it drops its boosters and fuel tank in the ocean. The x-33 will take everything with it. I just hope there's room left over for some useful cargo!! Its designed the way it is to keep it from getting too hot when it re-enters the atmosphere, but still fly (sort of) actually it flys about as well as a brick.

[ Steve/Ames - 49 - 10:36:57 ]
RE: [Eric-AndersonElemSchool] How long will it take you to build your airplane?
I think about 4 years. Sometimes I wish I could retire now and just build my airplane! then I could go back to work afterwards - too bad it doesn't work that way.

[ Steve/Ames - 50 - 10:39:09 ]
RE: [Mike-Deborah/YpsilantiCOPE] Have you ever flown supersonic aircraft?
No, boy I wish!!! my best friend flys F-18 in the NAVY. right now, he is on the aircraft carrier USS Independence. In the Persian gulf. He told me the first time he went supersonic, is was by accident: he had the afterburners on for a few seconds, and then he thought about something else for just a second, and there he was, going Mach 1.3 !!! he said the plane shutters a little bit when it slows down through Mach 1, but not too much when its speeding up.

[ Steve/Ames - 53 - 10:43:35 ]
RE: [CarolLatorre/Spain] I'm going to try to major in both aerosapece and mechanical engineering. Do you think that is a good combination or would you choose something different? And after that, would you recomend to finish a masters degree before looking for a job in the aerospace field?
This is a good idea, especially if the Mechanical Engineering part can emphasize materials like you said. I almost did a double major, but decided not to because a good job opportunity came up, so I graduated. I would say that Graduate school is a good place to go right away after bachelor's under two conditions: 1) there aren't too many jobs when you graduate and it would be a good place to wait a year or two, plus you'll be better qualified for the jobs that are there, OR, 2) if you really are interested in research rather than working as a practicing engineer. I worked for 3 years before I went back to graduate school full time. The break was good, and I was a little older and had some real world experience, so I was more motivated to work hard...grad school is pretty hard compared to undergrad, at least it was for me, so I was glad I had the time first.

[ Steve/Ames - 54 - 10:44:46 ]
RE: [Eric-AndersonElemSchool] when you say you use geometry do you mean like the perimeter of triangles and squares?
By geometry, we mean the description of the actual surface shape, sometimes its a mathematical description, some times, its a table of data points.

[ Steve/Ames - 56 - 10:47:17 ]
RE: [Deborah-Deborah/YpsilantiCOPE] Did you ever find the any more information about what effect must be operating to account for the differences in your winglet test results between the different sized models?
Oh, yes, good question. I have two new ideas to look at. First is I found that one if the blockage effects in my computer simulation wasn't being taken care of correctly. I'm redoing it and I think that will help. But I also realized that its possible for the people running the wind tunnel to make the same mistake I did on the computer. I'm not sure they are doing it right either. If so, it might be possible for me to show the right way to them, based on my example on the computer. So I'm still plugging along

[ Steve/Ames - 58 - 10:49:57 ]
RE: [Dan-Deborah/YpsilantiCOPE] What kind of software do you use for the aircraft design part of your job?
I use a wide range of software, from simple simulations that run on my Macintosh, to the most sophisticated flow simulations called Navier-Stokes codes that run the Cray and the Origin 2000. Some of these you can buy, some we write ourselves custom. We also use CAD software like Intergraph, Unigraphics, Catia, to do the surface design of complicated shapes. More often, I compute the surface shapes myself with simple programs I write myself.

[ Steve/Ames - 76 - 11:04:47 ]
RE: [MCSquared-TFS/Eisntein] Is there a wind tunnel near the Chicago area?
There are small wind tunnels at University of Chicago, and some really great wind tunnels at University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaigne

[ MCSquared-TFS/Eisntein - 63 - 10:53:31 ]
How can we get a copy of a blueprint for an airplane that you work on?

[ Steve/Ames - 65 - 10:54:07 ]
RE: [CarolLatorre/Spain] Computer Science is killing me, Do you really need a gret knowledge in programing for your everyday work as an engineer?
Well, more and more, computer science is getting important. When I went to college, we just learned to program in FORTRAN, and that was it. I need to rely on other people to write graphics programs for me so I can look at complicated flow results. Now, we are starting to use Parallel computers more and more, and the special tricks that you need to design into the method so it works well on a parallel machine - to understand these you need more computer science. A big-picture idea is that computer science also teaches you a more systematic way of approaching problems, step by step, so this is good for more than just the computer work, it helps you be a better engineer in general. Are you from Spain? One of my best friends is a professor at Stanford who is from Madrid.

[ Steve/Ames - 66 - 10:55:24 ]
RE: [MCSquared-TFS/Eisntein] What is the most elite aircraft you've built/designed?
I think the Oblique flying wing....the wing span is 408 feet, and it doesn't have a tail. all the people (300 people) fit inside a big fat wing. And it flys Mach 1.6

[ Susan/NASAChatHost - 67 - 10:55:27 ]
RE: [Deborah-Deborah/YpsilantiCOPE] We have to go now. Thank you so much for your time!!
Bye YpsilantiCOPE! Great questions I hope you join us again!

[ Steve/Ames - 70 - 10:56:38 ]
RE: [CarolLatorre/Spain] I really appreciate that you spent some time this morning with us, thanks. I have to go to class now, but before that a yes or no question. Do you think, if you have heard of it, that Saint Louis University in Missouri is a good aerospace engineering school?
Yes I've heard of it. I think they really emphasize practical hands-on engineering, but not as much theory.

[ Steve/Ames - 71 - 10:56:53 ]
RE: [Deborah-Deborah/YpsilantiCOPE] We have to go now. Thank you so much for your time!!

[ Susan/NASAChatHost - 72 - 10:57:07 ]
RE: [MCSquared-TFS/Eisntein] Will we be able to get a printed copy of this chat?
The chat will be archived. You can print it out from the web. Look for it at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/chats/archive.html

[ Steve/Ames - 73 - 10:58:04 ]
RE: [CarolLatorre/Spain] Thanks for your time, Steve. Yes, I'm from Spain and studying in Madrid right now. I would really like to talk to you some other time. I promise I'll try to E-mail you, bugging you with more questions. Thanks again :)
You're welcome. Also, my friend is Juan Alonso, e-mail at jjalonso@stanford.edu I think he would love to hear from you!

[ CarolLatorre/Spain - 74 - 10:59:41 ]
He'll hear from me. Bye Steve! Have a nice day at work!

[ Susan/NASAChatHost - 75 - 11:02:01 ]
Thanks everyone, especially Steve for the great and informative answers. I learned a lot!


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