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UPDATE #9 - January 30, 1998

PART 1: Brent Wellman - On Creating Lift
PART 2: Learning Resources
PART 3: Black History Month Chats
PART 4: In the Prep Room - Final Test Preparations
PART 5: Subscribing & Unsubscribing: How to do it


On Thursday, February 5, 1998 at 9-10:30 AM Pacific
We are planning a live event with Brent Wellman. There 
will be real media (streaming video and audio) over the 
Internet and Brent will demonstrate some discrepant events
about generating lift with odd shaped airfoils.  These
tricks can be easily duplicated in your classroom!This 
broadcast will last 45 minutes and be followed by a Web 
chat.  For information on how to attend and how to prepare,
and what supplies will be used go
to: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/ltc/test1.html


In the Teachers' Lounge, 
you will find a link to Learning Resources.  This is where
we have hidden some fun lesson plans and activities. They are 
arranged by topic and grade level. Each section begins with 
some introductory material. A simple and a more complex activity follow.
Next you'll find a science challenge experiment for further study,
and some assessment questions. 


During the month of February the Quest Project will celebrate 
Black History Month. Most of the Sharing NASA projects will 
feature a web chat with Black scientists and engineers that
contribute their work to the missions and goals of NASA. 

This includes a Women of the World chat with the 
esteemed Ruth Simmons, President of Smith College. Assuming 
the presidency in 1995, Simmons became the first 
African-American women to head a top-ranked college or
university in the United States. 
I hope you will join these chats with your classrooms.  
These people are very inspiring.

For more information visit 


[Editor's Note: Fanny is the Project Manager for an upcoming test of a future supersonic airliner. She has written several journals about the preparations for this test. See them online with pictures at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/events/test.html ]

By Fanny Zuniga

January 21, 1998 

Well, things are really hopping on this test! 
Where it used to be me and a few other people, 
now that we are preparing our model there are at 
least 50 people working to get this test ready 
for next week. This week we solved our electrical 
problem with the balance, checkloaded the balance, 
mounted our model Supersonic Transport on the 
balance, assembled all of the little pieces that 
make up the wing flaps, and installed our pressure 
instrumentation. WHEW! 

We are checkloading the balance to make sure our 
electronics and software are working and "talking" 
to the balance properly. We checkloaded it up to 
3000 pounds and confirmed our balance is very 
accurate. It was only off by 1/4 pound out of 3000!. 
Imagine they put 12000 pounds on during calibration. 
By the way, you can tell things are getting busy by 
how many people are in our prep room! Most of them 
are studying the signals from the balance.

The model, finally in the prep room, has been 
attached to the balance, which in turn is attached 
to the support posts. The calibration block has been
removed, so you can finally see the balance (its the 
cylinder in the middle of the model body).

The balance is the most important instrument in this
test. Also this week, mechanics are checking that 
all the wing parts we plan to test actually fit 
onto the model. Every part has been attached and 
removed at least once.

I mentioned some time ago that we have special instruments 
to measure air pressures on the surface of the wings. Now 
that it is all installed, I can tell you more about it.
Since it is air pressure that generates the loads (or forces) 
on our model, measuring the pressures help give us a good 
idea what features in the airflow are responsible for 
good or bad performance of our wings and flaps. If this all
works as planned, we can actually get maps of pressures 
on the wing like a weather map of pressures on the Earth. 

First, the model came to us with hundreds (405 to be exact) 
of tiny holes on the top and bottom surface of the wings.
They are covered with clear tape to keep dirt from clogging 
it up.
Next, these holes are connected to flexible metal
tubing which runs inside the wing and comes out into the 
body of the model.

Finally, the tubes are bundled together and brought to the 
nose of the airplane where we have put seven "pressure modules,"
each of which can read the pressure in 64 tubes.

All of these modules are calibrated in a laboratory, just like we
calibrated our balance. In this case, instead of weight, a known 
amount of air pressure is applied to each pressure sensor to 
measure its voltage output. All we have to do in the prep 
room is make sure we've connected them correctly (each
hole on the wing is numbered, as is each tube) to the 
pressure modules that do the actual measuring.
We also have to make sure each line has no leaks. 
That's a lot of work! 

As you can tell, there's a lot going on, but everyone 
is getting excited about starting the test. And
every member of the team knows we are working to a 

Our fully checked out model has to go in the tunnel next week!


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