Header Bar Graphic
Shuttle Image and IconAerospace HeaderBoy Image
Spacer TabHomepage ButtonWhat is NASA Quest ButtonSpacerCalendar of Events ButtonWhat is an Event ButtonHow do I Participate ButtonSpacerBios and Journals ButtonSpacerPics, Flicks and Facts ButtonArchived Events ButtonQ and A ButtonNews ButtonSpacerEducators and Parents ButtonSpacer
Highlight Graphic
Sitemap ButtonSearch ButtonContact Button

ADTO # 74 - August 13, 1999

PART 1: Upcoming Chats
PART 2: Project News
PART 3: The Test Has Started


Tuesday, August 17, 12:00 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time:

Phillip Luan, mechanical 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.

Register for this chat at

Read Phillip's profile and field journals prior to joining this chat.
Learn about the lab where he works at


We are following several aeronautics research projects at NASA Ames
Research Center this summer and will be bringing them to you in the Fall,
stay posted for more news.

- - - - - - -

Follow a Wind Tunnel Test of the Airliner of the Future

Meet the people from NASA who have been planning and working this
Read their compelling field journals as they surmount problems and the
test progresses.
Learn more about High Speed Research.

The model is in the tunnel, and air is about to start blowing. Make a
bookmark at

- - - - - - -
Summer Air Travel Contest

Only 18 days left to submit your entry!!

This a special summer contest for Aerospace Team Online. This contest is
open to all students between the grades of fourth through twelfth.
For this contest, we ask students to help researchers here at NASA solve
the air travel traffic problems. For more information go to

[Editor's Note: Mina Cappuccio is the NASA Ames research engineer on the low speed test of the High Speed Civil Transport Technology Concept Airplane model. Read her biography at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/team/cappuccio.html ]


By Mina Cappuccio

August 4, 1999

On Wednesday, July 28, 1999 we had a shakedown run. We started the tunnel,
pitched the model, took data and took the wind back down, just to see that
everything is working ok.

Starting Thursday morning, we started following the test plan. We started
taking data. By 11 AM, we had taken data for three runs, and by five
o'clock we had completed 13 runs. We stayed late so that we could do a
model change at night. A model change means we actually change the shape
of the model. In the middle of the day we put on the horizontal tail and
at the end of the day we took off the horizontal tail and we changed the
leading and trailing edge flaps. I remember Betsy, one of the
instrumentation technicians from NASA Langley Research Center, left at six
to have dinner with her uncle, and then she came back to finish the model

We got five runs on Friday, including a couple of model changes. At noon
we had Tom Trower, the NASA Ames Research Center photographer, come in and
take some professional pictures.  On Friday afternoon we began the big
model change.

This model change took all day, Monday, and Tuesday, to complete,
including some work on Sunday. We are all getting a little tired now
because we don't have enough people to support this test. We had to do a
lot of checking of the data from the wing 1 runs during the model change
to wing 3.  Part of the big model change to wing 3 was to make sure there
was continuity between the wing pressures and the ESP modules.  Also had
to leak check the pressures to determine which are good.   I will get the
results of the pressure continuity and leak checks and will use these
results to plot the data.  Actually Bryan from NASA Langley and Robin from
Boeing will be doing a lot of the plotting.

I have been busy getting things ready for the next configuration.  I enjoy
being involved in the full picture of the test. Some people think that
wind tunnel testing is boring. I think that its because they don't know
all the steps involved to make the data corrections and model changes.
This is a big configuration change and requires two people to make the

While they were doing the model change, we were plotting the data from the
previous model configuration (wing 1).  The data looked a little strange
compared to the data from the TCA-3 test. The drag polars, the lift vs.
drag plots, looked about ten counts higher.  I thought that it didn't seem
right to get that big of difference from test to test.

I started reviewing the data reduction equations. At this point we think
the cavity pressures, or the pressures that get measured in the cavity of
the fuselage, might be responsible. We discovered that these pressures
weren't getting measured. We were making data corrections without these
numbers and now we don't have this data to make the proper corrections in
the data reduction. Since this part of the model doesn't change in the
next configuration of the model, we will use the cavity pressures from the
next runs and apply them to the runs for which we don't have cavity
pressure data. Sometimes you must make corrections to your data after the
fact. When you look at the data during the test, you can't compare it to
the previous test, because the system can't handle that much data.

Meanwhile on the home front my two cats are driving me up the wall. I left
Misty and Tigger at my mother's house in Boston, while I was traveling
back and forth to Seattle for my previous wind tunnel test at Boeing. My
mom, has two cats, so all together there were four cats at her house. She
can't stand them being cooped up in the house all the time, so she let's
them out and they can walk around outside.

Now that they are at home Tigger wants to be outside all the time. I don't
want them to be outside cats, I want them to be inside cats. They can go
out on the patio when I'm home but I don't want them roaming around in the
neighborhood. But now when I open the door to the patio Tigger jumps on
the fence, jumps on the other side, and starts roaming around.  She does
come back, but I am worried while she's gone. I notice she's getting
closer and closer to the main street, which is very busy. One time I
caught her climbing the olive tree; she climbed all the way to the top
onto a teeny branch and then jumped on the roof. She jumps on everything!
That's why I named her Tigger. When I got her as a teeny kitten she was
bouncy and she's got stripes, because she's a tabby.

Misty doesn't know how to jump but she's a crybaby. She wants to go where
Tigger goes, so I have to open the gate so that she can follow. They used
to be afraid of cars but now it seems as if they are more daring, getting
closer and closer to the traffic. So I have to retrain them. I'm not
letting them go out. When I get ready for work in the morning they are
meowing at me! Even with all the aggravation, I am happy to have them home
when I get home from work. I've been golfing and had a girl friend from
Santa Barbara visit. I'm trying to stay balanced, even though I'm working

Next week I am going to focus on speeding things up. We need to take data
and make the model changes go faster. We are running a couple of days
behind. I will also be focusing on the data to make sure it's corrected
for the new configurations.

Footer Bar Graphic
SpacerSpace IconAerospace IconAstrobiology IconWomen of NASA IconSpacer
Footer Info