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UPDATE #56 - March 19, 1999

PART 1: Upcoming Chat
PART 2: Project News
PART 3: The Final Chapter
PART 4: Subscribing & Unsubscribing: How to do it


QuestChats require pre-registration. Unless otherwise noted, registration
is at:  http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/chats/#chatting

Thursday, March 25, 1999, 10 AM Pacific Time:
Orville and Wilbur Wright, Inventors of first powered airplane

Did you know that Orville and Wilbur flew together only once
in their airplane for their father to see, but decided it unwise,
because if they crashed, no one could carry on their work! And what a wise
decision that was for their great inventions changed the course of

Read about Orville and Wilbur Wright prior to joining this


Thursday, March 18, 1999, 10:30 AM Pacific Time:
Jason Brown, Systems Safety Engineer

Jim performs safety analyses and studies. For the Wright Flyer, he
is evaluating the safety issues associated with the Variable Frequency
Power used to drive the model's motor.

Read Jason's biography at


AIAA 1903 Wright Flyer Wind Tunnel Test at the National Full-scale
Aeronautics Complex at NASA Ames Research Center begins March 1, 1999
Read the daily log from Test Manager Pete Zell.
See beautiful daily photos taken by Liza Coe at

- - - - - - -

March Creative Writing Contest

Welcome all entrants grades K-12! Think about what the 1903 Wright Flyer
Model feels like! A bit of
anthropomorphizing just for fun!

For details go to

- - - - - - -
Wright Flyer Replica Wind tunnel Data Posted with Lesson Plans!
See four runs worth of data and use it with the lesson plans to gain an
understanding of the data.

Teacher Forum on Wind Tunnel Data Lessons

We have set up a forum for teachers with questions about the
Wind Tunnel Data Lessons, http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/wright/teachers/
This is similar to a bulletin board. You can post questions and
we'll get back to you by posting the answers. Check this link at:

- - - - - - -

Wind Tunnel Data Lesson Plans
Prepare to interact with the Data from the AIAA 1903 Wright Flyer wind
tunnel test using these lesson plans.

[Anne Corwin is an engineering aide at the National Full Scale Aeronautics Complex at Ames. Read her bio at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/wright/team/corwin.html ]


by Anne Corwin

March 19, 1999

        The upstairs offices are eerily empty; the tunnel is once more
cool and silent; the Wright Flyer replica is partially disassembled atop
its perch on the sting.  The tunnel phase of the test is over, but of
course, the Wright Flyer Project continues--the team is approaching the
time when they will be able to actually fly a working replica on the 100th
anniversary of the First Flight.  This was a great project to participate
in, and hopefully I will be able to participate further by helping the
test personnel here at NASA sort out the data gathered during the test.
It still amazes me that, with all the computer technology and other
advanced calculation equipment humans have developed, we still haven't
quite figured out how the Wright Brothers were able to get off the ground
the first time around.  I actually found out this fact fairly recently; it
made the test seem that much more special and exciting.  Excuse me while I
get philosophical...

        One of the things I have learned from this test is that science
and engineering are not entirely separate from things such as art, poetry,
and philosophy.  All of these endeavors stem from humankind's desire to
organize and demonstrate mastery of the universe in the form of knowledge.
A person makes a discovery and in doing so contributes to the general pool
of human knowledge.  A person writes a poem and in doing so widens the
angle through which humankind may view the world.  The Wright Brothers
built an airplane and in doing so changed the course of history by giving
a third degree of freedom to our motion atop and about the earth's

        Though I didn't actually get to witness much of the test (it took
place on a 3 PM to midnight shift, and I leave at 4 PM)  I had fun
attending the meetings and bothering people in the control room about what
all the screen displays meant.  The control room is REALLY cool-looking:
it reminds me of the bridge of the Starship Enterprise.  There are
computer monitors and screens everywhere.  There are stacks of equipment
and control panels with colored lights and levers and weird dials.  It's
kind of intimidating...I want to know what EVERYTHING does in there!

        Yesterday was Employee Day...employees at Ames were invited to
come in the tunnel and view the replica, and to bring their families in
between 11 AM and 2 PM.  There was a huge response, despite the five
billion stairs that have to be climbed in order to reach the tunnel.
(Well, maybe I'm exaggerating a little on the number of stairs, but there
ARE a lot!)  It was neat to see so many people showing an interest in the
Flyer.  After the crowds trickled away, a crew photo was taken.  That was
such a surreal experience...I couldn't get over the fact that I was being
included in a NASA crew photo.  Like I mentioned to a few people, it seems
as if just yesterday I was in kindergarten being told to get back in my

        I guess to conclude my set of Wright Flyer Journals I would like
to say that I greatly appreciate everyone on the project's willingness to
let me help out, to trust me to do the rigging plan correctly, to tell me
about their various experiences, and to answer all my questions!  I will
definitely give this test a place in the Really Good Memories box in my
brain.  Also, to everyone who visited this website and followed the test
and participated in chats or any combination of those, thanks for
visiting!  Keep on the lookout for more NASA projects...

Anne   =]


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