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ADTO # 78 - September 17, 1999

PART 1: Upcoming Chats
PART 2: Project News
PART 3: Planning a Wind Tunnel Test


UPCOMING CHATS


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


PROJECT NEWS

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.
 
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