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ATO # 94 - January 28, 2000

PART 1: Upcoming Chat
PART 2: Black History Month Chats
PART 3: Project News
PART 4: Low Speed Wind Tunnel Tests


QuestChats require pre-registration. Unless otherwise noted, registration
is at:  http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/chats/#chatting

Tuesday, February 1, 2000, 10:30 - 11: 30 AM Pacific
Low Speed Regimes of Flight QuestChat with Gavin Botha

Gavin Botha uses two of the world's largest wind tunnels to test full size
aircraft. A Regimes of Flight Chat!
Read Gavin's biography at

Thursday, February 10, 2000 10 AM - 11 AM Pacific
Aerospace Team Online QuestChat with Kelly McEntire

Kelly McEntire manages a small group of mechanical, aerospace and
structural engineers, responsible for supporting the aeropropulsion
engineers (a.k.a., rocket scientists) in their lab.
Read his biography at

Wedmesday, February 16, 2000, 1:00 PM
Regimes of Flight Chat with Steve Smith

Steve Smith is an aerospace research engineer who studies how airplanes
will perform at different speeds. Right now he's researching supersonic
flight and he uses computers, wind tunnels and is build his own plane.
Read his bio at

Thursday, March 2, 2000 10 AM - 11 AM Pacific

Earl Duque studies how air flows around, through, and under objects such
as wings, propellers and aircraft vehicles.
Read his biography at


February is Black History Month. To celebrate, NASA Quest will host a
series of QuestChats and forums with African American scientists and
engineers who contribute their work in support of NASA's mission and
goals. The schedule which may be added to over time can be found at

Some of these are of special interest to Aerospace Team Online

Thursday, February 3, 2000, 1:00 AM Pacific
Laurie Marshall, Aerospace Engineer, Dryden Flight Research Center   

Laurie is an Aerospace Engineer. Her recent work included a laminar flow
study of the wings of the F-16XL#2.
Read her biography at

Tuesday, February 8 - Thursday, February 10, 2000 Pacific
Forum(questions not answered live during a three day period) with
Julie Williams-Byrd
Electronics Engineer/Aerospace Technologist, Langley Research Center 

Julie designs and builds lasers to investigate the makeup of the
Read her biography at

Tuesday, February 8, 2000, 9:00 AM Pacific
Chat with Kim Hubbard, Computer Scientist

Kim works on system engineering and software development. She has helped
to network computers in space.
Read her biography at

Thursday, February 24, 2000, 9 AM Pacific
Chat with Aprille Ericsson-Jackson, Ph.D., Aerospace Engineer
Aprille works on guidance, navigation and control, and design analysis at
Goddard Space Flight Center
Read her bio at http://quest.nasa.gov/space/frontiers/ericsson.html


Sneak preview the "Regimes of Flight" a new resource for
teachers and students about flight at different speeds. This will be
targeted for grades 4-8. You will find background material, lesson plans,
chats and contests!! For more information see

- - - - - - 

Regimes of Flight Class Mural Contest, Grades 4-8
January 25 - March 2,2000
Choose one of the regimes of flight: low, medium, high, supersonic,
hypersonic. Classes
submit a mural that visually depicts not only the definition and
of the category, but also visually depicts aircraft from that category
(Note: Key word "visually" means no words).

For more information: go to

[Editors Note: Gavin Botha is an aerospace engineer who has worked as a test manager for a wind tunnel that simulates low speed flight conditions. Read his bio at http://quest.nasa.gov/aero/team/botha.html ]


by Gavin Botha

January 19, 2000

I have been involved with several fixed wing aircraft tests, as well as   
helicopter tests. These include:

Fixed Wing:
F-18 High Angle of Attack Test, where we tested a Navy Blue Angles
Aircraft at slow flight speeds with the nose of the
aircraft flying at a very high attitude. We tested different types of
devices mounted to the front of the aircraft to aid in
controlling the fighter at these radical attitudes.

During the F-18 test we learned what type of devise provided the best
control for the F-18 flying at these nose high
angles. These designs, which were little wings that popped out of the
sides of the nose, were built and tested on an actual
F-18. Someday this may become standard equipment on certain aircraft.


Sikorsky Bearingless Main Rotor Test This was a new design in
blades, that used modern composite materials for the blade structure.
These new materials allowed the helicopter blades to bend and twist to the
proper control positions without using a bearing device that is normally
needed for a standard rotor blade to rotate.

The Bearingless Main Rotor test proved that helicopter blades can be built
without using bearings for blade rotation. This
would save in manufacturing costs and is much easier to maintain. Sikorsky
Helicopter Company now has a production helicopter that uses bearingless
main rotors.

Tilt Rotor Aeroacoustic Model This is a 1/4 scale model of the V-22  
Military Tilt Rotor Aircraft. The tilt rotor aircraft
combines the best features of an aircraft and helicopter. A propeller on
each wing can rotate forward, so that it becomes
an airplane, and can then tilt backwards until both propellers are acting 
as helicopter rotors, and can hover like a

We are still testing the 1/4 scale Tilt Rotor, but have already learned
valuable information on the performance and noise
characteristics of the propellers. We are trying to lower the noise
produced from the blades so that the aircraft can take
off and land from buildings without being too noisy.

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