ADTO # 78 - September 17, 1999
QuestChats require pre-registration. Unless otherwise noted, registration is at: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/chats/#chatting Join us for a special series of chats focusing on the HSCT! The passenger jet of the future is taking shape! NASA and a team of U.S. aerospace companies have developed a concept for a next-generation supersonic passenger jet -- the High Speed Civil Transport (HSCT). The HSCT would fly 300 passengers at more than 1,500 miles per hour - more than twice the speed of sound! Technology to make the HSCT possible is being developed as part of NASA's High-Speed Research (HSR) program, which began in 1990. The HSCT is expected to cross the Pacific or Atlantic in less than half the time of modern subsonic jets. The HSCT is expected to make its debut in 2015. More about the High Speed Civil Transport at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/events/hsct.html Wednesday, September 22, 1999, 10 AM Pacific Daylight Time: Bob Griffiths, aerodynamics engineer Bob uses computers to design new flaps and wings for airplanes. He also conducts research about how airplanes fly at low speeds, like when they are landing and taking off. He sends his designs to model builders, who create wind tunnel test models for his research. Additionally, Bob works with high-speed [civil transport] researchers who design special wings for cruising at high speeds, and noise researchers who try to minimize the noise impact of these planes. Read Bob Griffiths' profile prior to joining this chat. http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/team/griffiths.html Thursday, September 23, 1999, 9 AM Pacific Daylight Time: Ken Schrock, radio frequency engineer Ken has had many different types of jobs as an engineer. For this reason, he sometimes refers to himself as a "kitchen sink engineer," playing on the famous saying ". . . everything but the kitchen sink!" Today, Ken works as a radio frequency engineer, designing equipment to help launch vehicles and space craft navigate. But he has also worked as a technical writer (writing flight manuals), a flight test engineer, an instrumentation engineer, a telemetry engineer, and a data communications engineer. Whew! There is plenty to learn about Ken's diverse career history. Read Ken Schrock's profile prior to joining this chat. http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/team/schrock.html Tuesday, September 28, 1999, 10 AM Pacific Daylight Time: Mina Cappuccio, aerospace engineer Mina works in the area of propulsion airframe integration (PAI), which is the science of installing propulsion systems or engines on airplanes. She is part of a team that is involved in the NASA High Speed Research (HSR) program. The program is part of an effort to develop the technology needed to design and build a commercial high speed civil transport (HSCT). HSCT aircraft would then be able to transport people 2 to 3 times faster than airplanes we fly on today, such as 747's. Read Mina Cappuccio's profile prior to joining this chat. http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/team/cappuccio.html
This summer we followed the repairs to the fans in the 40 x 80 wind tunnel and the de-icing test this summer. We are working up some special problem solving activities on these. Stay posted.
[Editor's Note: Bob Griffiths is an aerodynamics engineer at Boeing in Seattle, Washington. He is working on the high speed research program planning and designing model parts for the wind tunnel test of the High Speed Civil Transport. Read his biography at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/team/griffiths.html ]
PLANNING A WIND TUNNEL TEST
By Bob Griffiths
August 6, 1999 Communication is extremely important thing in test planning, especially when the team members are spread across the country within different companies. The original test focal for this test was an engineer at Boeing-Long Beach. The test focal is the one responsible for making sure that everything gets done. To make sure that everybody was working most efficiently, we began having an official teleconference once a week starting about a year ago. These were led by NASA-Ames. Telecons are standard when preparing for a test like this one to ensure that everyone on the test team is on the same page. Early telecons focused on high level topics like test objectives; as the planning progressed the telecons became more and more detailed. As we got closer to the test start date more and more people joined in on the telecons, including the model designers, the model technicians & mechanics, and the test engineers. The telecons ended just before the test started. One of the issues we discussed in the telecons was whether or not the canards (small movable wings on the airplane forebody, ahead of the main wings) would touch when deflected at high angles. This was a concern because we don't want the canards to run into each other they could be damaged! The solution was found by using a computer aided design (CAD) tool - a computer that we can use to "move" the canards around in a virtual world to look for problems. Turns out the canards will come close but will not touch at the canard angles we will be testing. This model has been tested before and it is very complicated. It has literally hundreds of parts, with many more new planned for TCA-5. I was responsible for designing some of the leading edge flaps for this test. I did the geometry, the theoretical geometry for the part. When I say geometry I really mean all the mathematical definitions on the computer that describe the parts. Then I did some computational fluid dynamics, CFD, tests on the canards and flaps to see if they met the test objectives. Then we sent the design of the outer mold line (the "OML"), or surface definition, of the flap to the model design shop where they add all the realism, like bolts. At this point, the contractors have been selected and they have a real good idea of the number and the complexity of parts that will be built. When they get the designs there will be a good deal of discussion back and forth and the fabrication process begins! It turns out that the NASA-Ames model designers will add the realism, but will ask an outside shop to help out with building the parts themselves. The test team tracks the progress of the model parts by e-mails and through the weekly telecons.