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UPDATE #35 - October 2, 1998

PART 1: Special Aeronautics Chats
PART 2: Project News
PART 3: When It Rains It Pours
PART 4: Subscribing & Unsubscribing: How to do it


Have you always wanted to chat with a test pilot and find out what it's
like to fly the SR-71?  Do you have nagging questions about the
propulsion systems of the future? Have you wondered how you might make a
lesson plan to use the wind tunnel data from the Wright Flyer test? Do you
think it would be fun to run a wind tunnel test for a space vehicle?

The "Turning Goals Into Reality" conference seemed like a great chance to
let our Aero Design friends chat with experts from each of the Aeronautic
Centers! Please SIGN UP NOW for these special chats!!

Tuesday, October 6, 1998, 10 AM Pacific Time: Frank Quinto, facility
manager, Low-Turbulence Pressure Tunnel, Langley Research Center
When asked what he likes most about his career, Frank explains that he
enjoys being able to "work with tomorrow's planes today."
Read Frank's autobiography at
Register for this chat at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/chats/#chatting

Tuesday, October 6, 1998, 11 AM Pacific Time: Craig Hange, aerospace
engineer, Ames Research Center
Craig is involved in the Wright Flyer Test, in which a replica
of the Wright Brothers' airplane will be tested in the 80-by-120
Foot Wind Tunnel.
Read Craig Hange's autobiography prior to joining this chat.
Register for this chat at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/chats/#chatting

Wednesday, October 7, 1998, 9 AM Pacific Time: Mark P. Stucky, aerospace
research test pilot, Dryden Flight Research Center
He currently is assigned as the project pilot on the Eclipse Towed F-106
Program. He also is assigned to various flight test models of the F-18 and
F-16 aircraft. Stucky has logged over 4,000 flight hours in over forty
different models of aircraft varying from the triple-sonic SR-71 Blackbird
spyplane to the Goodyear Blimp.
Read Mark's autobiography at
Register for this chat at

Wednesday, October 7, 1998, 10 AM Pacific Time: Brent Nowlin, electrical
operations engineer, Lewis Research Center
Brent works with a team in a turbine facility, where he is responsible
for ensuring all instrumentation and control systems function properly.
Read Brent's autobiography at
Register for this chat at


This week I attended a meeting focusing on the instrumentation plans for
the Wright Flyer Wind Tunnel Test. The engineers were talking about little
sensors and devices that measure the airflow around the plane during the
test. They are thinking about the best way to test this plane which is
made of cloth and wood. I'll try to write a journal about this for next
week. I bet Orville and Wilbur would like to watch this test. There will
be lots for you to learn and observe as the test keeps getting closer.
Susan Lee

Collaborative Projects - Schools, Classrooms Share Ideas

The Internet is a way to share your ideas with other classrooms.
Sound like fun? - Working together you can improve the designs of gliders,
wind tunnels and learn about flight!
Visit: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/events/collaborative/
to learn more about the collaborative projects planned to start soon, and
sign up for the discussion lists.

New Contest Planned

If you'd like to plan ahead, future contests are listed in the Teachers

Introduction to K-12 Online Aeronautics Projects at NASA: Web Cast and

Wednesday, October 14, 1998 - 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm Pacific (4:00 pm -
5:30 pm Eastern) 

During this event we will introduce you to four exciting online
	Off to a Flying Start
	Aerospace Team Online
	Foil Sim: Basic Aerodynamics 
	Cooperative Agreement Aeronautics Projects

Each presentation will last fifteen minutes and will be followed by a
chat. For more information visit:


[Editor's Note: Frank Quinto is wind tunnel manager. He's very busy! Read his bio at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/team/quinto.html ]


by Frank Quinto

September 10, 1998

For a Facility Manager every day is different, unlike when I was a
test manager. Then there were two kinds of days; test days and non-test
days. Some days as a facility manager I am putting out fires left and
right. (You've heard the expression: When it rains, it pours!). Some days
are calmer.  Some of the emergencies I solve have to do with purchasing
equipment parts for repairs. I get involved because I have a government
credit card.  I do a lot of ordering on the Internet.  Once I had to drive
to the hardware store and go through all the steps explaining that we are
a tax exempt agency and that we should not be charged tax.

Other time's problems arise due to communication problems. Sometimes
information doesn't get passed on.  I serve as peacemaker moving the
issues towards solutions.

I have to coordinate the schedule for my wind tunnel. To avoid a problem
with the schedule I have build in slack into the schedule. Sometimes
though you don't have enough slack. If there is a conflict, we try to
promise to complete our testing within an appropriate time.  If the
schedule slips you have to call all the people that are effected by either
moving the schedule forward or moving it backward. You have to get
everyone to agree because if you don't the one person you don't reach will
not be able to make his or her schedule fit the revision and then you have
to start all over.

I coordinate a lot of meetings. Since I have become a Facility Manager the
number of meetings I attend has doubled.  Most of them are staff
meetings. When I was a test manager there were one or two fifteen-minute
meetings a day.  They were called end of shift meetings and we shared
information as we changed shifts.

Now I attend meetings of all the Facility Managers of the main facility.
We get assigned things like Operations Plans for the Facility due Friday.
Then I share that information with the staff at our facility. Then I have
to attend priority meetings where we decide on the allocation of
electrical power and high power air.  Wind tunnels use a lot of power and
a lot of high pressure air and so we prioritize based on the number of
customers, the priorities, the schedules, and delays. This is interesting
because you get to see what the other facilities are doing, how they
handle problems that are similar to the ones you experience.

We are classified as a medium to small facility.  We are a research
facility and our schedule is fairly easy going but we still have to meet
the same requirements. The Low Turbulence Pressure Wind Tunnel is unique,
the only one in the US at least.  It's two-dimensional.  Most of our
testing has to do with the information about an airfoil. The wing goes
from wall to wall. This allows us to discover how to maximize the
performance of an airfoil. When the question comes up "What shape airfoil
should we use?" The research results from this wind tunnel provide the
answer.  Most of the airfoil shapes that we test are for low speed
transports. Most tunnels have some turbulence, which may not effect your
test results. When you are doing airfoil testing you need low turbulence
so that you can easily predict the airflow over the airfoil. The airfoils
(a chunk of the wing) we test from leading edge to trailing edge are on
the order of 2 to 3'.  On a full-scale airplane they would be 10 to 20'.
Most of the airfoils we test are for low speed transports.

We also test three-dimensional models like an airplane.  Because of the
size of our tunnel which is 3 1/2' wide by 7 1/2' high and 7' long we can
only test aerospace vehicles like the space shuttle, the X-33 or the X-34
(stubby winged aerospace vehicles).  Most wind tunnels have wider than
narrower. This tunnel is the other way around it has a taller and narrow
test space.  We can take a model (like the space shuttle) and test it in
our tunnel then take it to a transonic tunnel and then take it to a
supersonic tunnel. This means that you can test it at speeds all the way
from 0 to Mach 6 with out having to build a new model.

The other reason our tunnel is so unique is because we do tests at very
high Reynolds Numbers.  We can test at up to ten atmospheres. You can
consider that one atmosphere is 15 lbs. per square inch. The actual
atmospheric pressure at sea level is 14.7 lbs. per square inch.  We can
pressurize our tunnel up to 150 p.s.i. We get near flight level Reynolds
Numbers, in other words the same flow conditions with a model that we
would get with an airplane.  What are Reynolds Numbers you ask? Well
Reynolds numbers describe a scaling effect.  You make a scale model to put
in the wind tunnel. When you shrink it down to fit the test section of the
wind tunnel you must also do some thing to the airflow in the wind tunnel,
such as using high pressure or cryogenic mode.  This involves using a
different gas at very low temperatures like  -250 degrees F. When you
reduce the temperature you reduce the spacing between the molecules down
to the scale of the model.

Never a dull moment, but we get the job done!


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