UPDATE #58 - April 2, 1999
QuestChats require pre-registration. Unless otherwise noted, registration is at: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/chats/#chatting Wednesday, April 7, 1999, 11 AM Pacific Daylight Time: Anne Corwin, engineering aide In addition to being an intern and a full-time student, Anne assists the staff of the 40x80- and 80x120-foot wind tunnels with anything they need help with. Since July, Anne has been working on a large-scale software development project. She is constructing a program in that will allow customers and users of the wind tunnels to set up and plan out their tests in an entirely electronic format. Read Anne Corwin's profile prior to joining this chat. http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/wright/team/corwin.html Wednesday, April 14, 1999, 10 AM Pacific Daylight Time: Mark Kilkenny, program planning specialist Over the past 16 years, Mark has worked in administrative positions for NASA. His current work focuses on John Glenn Research Center's administrative and business operations. He is responsible for conducting strategic planning for the center. He also helps the center determine how well it is progressing towards its long-term goals and objectives. Read Mark Kilkenny's profile prior to joining this chat. http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/team/kilkenny.html Tuesday, April 20, 1999, 9:30 AM Pacific Daylight Time: Rich Coppenbarger, aerospace engineer Rich develops hardware and software systems to help air traffic controllers manage aircraft as they fly throughout the nation's skies. One of the software programs he is developing is called the CTAS, which helps air traffic move smoothly and without delays. The CTAS is part of the Advanced Air Transportation Technology (AATT) program, which is designed to help our nation's air transportation system function better and more safely, even with more aircraft flying in our skies. Read Rich Coppenbarger's profile prior to joining this chat. http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/team/coppenbarger.html Tuesday, April 27, 1999, 11 AM Pacific Daylight Time: Ray Oyung, research coordinator, Fatigue Countermeasures Program Ray is part of a team that works in the Fatigue Countermeasures Program. The team tries to find ways to reduce the effects of fatigue, sleep loss, and disruptions to the body's internal clock on flight crews during flight operations. Ray is also part of a research team. As a member of the research team, Ray collects data from experiments focusing on certain aspects of fatigue and how they affect us. Read Ray Oyung's profile prior to joining this chat. http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/team/ray.html Wednesday, April 28, 1999, 11 AM Pacific Time: Phillip Luan, instrumentation engineer Balances used in wind tunnel tests tell engineers how the force of the wind affects the model. Phillip is responsible for making sure that balances used for these tests are extremely accurate. He also helps determine how electrical signals received during the tests are related to the accuracy of the balances. Read Phillip Luan's profile and learn more about the Balance Calibration Lab prior to joining this chat. http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/wright/team/luan.html http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/wright/tunnels/balcallab.html
Wright Flyer Replica Wind Tunnel Data Posted with Lesson Plans! See five runs worth of data and use it with the lesson plans to gain an understanding of the data. http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/wright/teachers/angles/data.html Three Sets of Wind Tunnel Data Lesson Plans Do you "Know all the Angles"? Learn about lift and drag! Grades 4-8 Why is it important to "Get the Wright Pitch"? and "Watch your Attitude"! Grades 6-8 Getting "Up, up and Away" - learn what the Wright Brothers learned. Grades 9-12 http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/wright/teachers
[Editor's Note: As a special Spring Break treat, an excerpt from "How We Made the First Flight", by Orville Wright. A complete copy of this account is Online at http://www.aero-web.org/history/wright/wright.html ]
From Orvile Wright's own account of the world's first powered, sustained and controlled flight. Edited by Michael E. Wayda FINAL PREPARATIONS We laid the track on a smooth stretch of ground about one hundred feet north of the new building. The biting cold wind made work difficult, and we had to warm up frequently in our living room, where we had a good fire in an improvised stove made of a large carbide can. By the time all was ready, J.T. Daniels, W.S. Dough and A.D. Etheridge, members of the Kill Devil Life Saving Station; W.C. Brinkley of Manteo, and Johnny Moore, a boy from Nags Head, had arrived. We had a "Richard" hand anemometer with which we measured the velocity of the wind. Measurements made just before starting the first flight showed velocities of 11 to 12 meters per second, or 24 to 27 miles per hour. Measurements made just before the last flight gave between 9 and 10 meters per second. One made just after showed a little over 8 meters. The records of the Government Weather Bureau at Kitty Hawk gave the velocity of the wind between the hours of 10:30 and 12 o'clock, the time during which the four flights were made, as averaging 27 miles at the time of the first flight and 24 miles at the time of the last. AUDACITY AND CALCULATION With all the knowledge and skill acquired in thousands of flights in the last ten years, I would hardly think today of making my first flight on a strange machine in a twenty-seven mile wind, even if I knew that the machine had already been flown and was safe. After these years of experience I look with amazement upon our audacity in attempting flights with a new and untried machine under such circumstances. Yet faith in our calculations and the design of the first machine, based upon our tables of air pressures, secured by months of careful laboratory work, and confidence in our system of control developed by three years of actual ex- periences in balancing gliders in the air had convinced us that the machine was capable of lifting and maintaining itself in the air, and that, with a little practice, it could be safely flown. Wilbur, having used his turn in the unsuccessful attempt on the 14th, the right to the first trial now belonged to me. After running the motor a few minutes to heat it up, I released the wire that held the machine to the track, and the machine started forward in the wind. Wilbur ran at the side of the machine, holding the wing to balance it on the track. Unlike the start on the 14th, made in a calm, the machine, facing a 27-mile wind, started very slowly. Wilbur was able to stay with it till it lifted from the track after a forty foot run. One of the Life Saving men snapped the camera for us, taking a picture just as the machine had reached the end of the track and had risen to a height of about two feet. The slow forward speed of the machine over the ground is clearly shown in the picture by Wilbur's attitude. He stayed along beside the machine without any effort. FLIGHT The course of the flight up and down was exceedingly erratic, partly due to the irregularity of the air, and partly to lack of experience in handling this machine. The control of the front rudder was difficult on account of its being balanced too near the center. This gave it a tendency to turn itself when started; so that it turned too far on one side and then too far on the other. As a result the machine would rise suddenly to about ten feet, and then as suddenly dart for the ground. A sudden dart when a little over a hundred feet from the end of the track, or a little over 120 feet from the point at which it rose into the air, ended the flight. As the velocity of the wind was over 35 feet per second and the speed of the machine over the ground against this wind ten feet per second, the speed of the machine relative to the air was over 45 feet per second, and the length of the flight was equivalent to a flight of 540 feet made in calm air. This flight lasted only 12 seconds, but it was nevertheless the first in the history of the world in which a machine carrying a man had raised itself by its own power into the air in full flight, had sailed forward without reduction of speed and had finally landed at a point as high as that from which it started.
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