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Topic: Aircraft

NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center rolls out miniature aircraft MicroCub

 

Written by Rebecca Richardson
NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationEdwards, CA – The Subscale Research Lab at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in California recently introduced a new addition to their fleet of miniature aircraft. The not-so-small MicroCub is a Bill Hempel 60-percent-scale super cub, modified by Armstrong to support engineering campaigns focused on the integration of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) into the National Airspace System (NAS).

Through cutting-edge engineering and expert piloting of small, unmanned aircraft NASA is leading a critical phase for UAS integration into the NAS by educating engineers and validating key technologies that will directly apply to the next generation of large-scale unmanned vehicles.

Crew members of the Subscale Research Lab at NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center in California perform a series of preflight system checks of the MicroCub to ensure the aircraft is ready for its maiden flight. (NASA Photo / Lauren Hughes)

Crew members of the Subscale Research Lab at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in California perform a series of preflight system checks of the MicroCub to ensure the aircraft is ready for its maiden flight. (NASA Photo / Lauren Hughes)

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NASA successfully tests lightweight, Aircraft Wings that fold during Flight

 

Written by Matt Kamlet
NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationEdwards, CA – NASA has successfully applied a new technology in flight that allows aircraft to fold their wings to different angles while in the air.

The recent flight series, which took place at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in California, was part of the Spanwise Adaptive Wing project, or SAW. This project aims to validate the use of a cutting-edge, lightweight material to be able to fold the outer portions of aircraft wings and their control surfaces to optimal angles in flight.

SAW, which is a joint effort between Armstrong, NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, or GRC, Langley Research Center in Virginia, Boeing Research & Technology in St. Louis and Seattle, and Area-I Inc. in Kennesaw, Georgia, may produce multiple in-flight benefits to aircraft in the future, both subsonic and supersonic.

The subscale testbed PTERA flies over NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center in California with the outer portions of its wings folded 70 degrees upwards. The aircraft took off with its wings zero degrees deflection, keeping them level during takeoff. The wings were folded during the flight using a thermally-triggered shape memory alloy, developed at Glenn Research Center and integrated into an actuator at Boeing Research & Technology. (Area-I Inc.)

The subscale testbed PTERA flies over NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center in California with the outer portions of its wings folded 70 degrees upwards. The aircraft took off with its wings zero degrees deflection, keeping them level during takeoff. The wings were folded during the flight using a thermally-triggered shape memory alloy, developed at Glenn Research Center and integrated into an actuator at Boeing Research & Technology. (Area-I Inc.)

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NASA tests highly flexible, lightweight Aircraft Wings

 

Written by Jay Levine, X-Press Editor
NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationEdwards, CAThe subscale X-56A is scheduled for a series of research flights in November to prove enabling technology for designing aircraft with highly flexible, lightweight wings. The use of less structurally-rigid wings could be critical to future long-range, fuel-efficient airliners. 

A risk reduction flight August 31st, 2017 from Armstrong demonstrated that past challenges experienced during takeoffs and landings are resolved, said Cheng Moua, X-56A project manager. 

The X-56A is scheduled for November flights to further investigate how highly-flexible, lightweight wings function. (NASA Photo / Lauren Hughes)

The X-56A is scheduled for November flights to further investigate how highly-flexible, lightweight wings function. (NASA Photo / Lauren Hughes)

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Fort Campbell Army Airfield to undergo needed repairs

 

Written by Leejay Lockhart
Fort Campbell Public Affairs Office

Fort Campbell KY - 101st Airborne DivisionFort Campbell, KY – Campbell Army Airfield’s main runway will close for repairs April 10th and should reopen in late July or early August.

The $28 million project includes resurfacing the runway, repairing ramps, taxiways, adding lights to the secondary runway, and moving lights to make them easier to maintain on the main runways.

Terry Ennis, airfield manager for Campbell Army Airfield, said the repairs also will decrease the runway width by 50 feet to the industry standard of 150 feet in width. Its overall length will decrease from 11,822 feet to 10,500 feet. The excess portion of the runways will become paved overrun that serve as a safety measure to decrease damage to aircraft on takeoff and landings if something goes wrong.

Construction equipment with suction devices that can lift concrete slabs from taxiways at Campbell Army Airfield will speed repairs to CAAF and make them cheaper since it preserves the rock subbase. The repairs are part of a $28 million contract awarded by the Army Corps of Engineers. (Leejay Lockhart, Fort Campbell Public Affairs Office)

Construction equipment with suction devices that can lift concrete slabs from taxiways at Campbell Army Airfield will speed repairs to CAAF and make them cheaper since it preserves the rock subbase. The repairs are part of a $28 million contract awarded by the Army Corps of Engineers. (Leejay Lockhart, Fort Campbell Public Affairs Office)

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NASA tests new Boundary Layer Ingesting Propulsor Jet Engine Design

 

Written by Jan Wittry
NASA’s Glenn Research Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationCleveland, OH – Car, truck, train and aircraft manufacturers have made great strides in recent years to reduce fuel consumption, resulting in consumer savings and lower emissions. With NASA’s help, the aircraft industry is striving to increase fuel efficiency even more.

One way to do that is to create new aircraft engine designs. Engineers at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland are testing a new fan and inlet design, commonly called a propulsor, which could increase fuel efficiency by four to eight percent more than the advanced engine designs airlines are beginning to use.

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NASA Aeronautics to start Research into an array of new Experimental Aircraft

 

Written by Jim Banke
NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – History is about to repeat itself.

There have been periods of time during the past seven decades – some busier than others – when the nation’s best minds in aviation designed, built and flew a series of experimental airplanes to test the latest fanciful and practical ideas related to flight.

Short wings. Long wings. Delta-shaped wings. Forward swept wings. Scissor wings. Big tails. No tails. High speed. Low speed. Jet propulsion. Rocket propulsion. Even nuclear propulsion – although that technology was never actually flown.

The Quiet Supersonic Technology, or QueSST, concept is in the preliminary design phase and on its way to being one of NASA’s first X-planes. (NASA)

The Quiet Supersonic Technology, or QueSST, concept is in the preliminary design phase and on its way to being one of NASA’s first X-planes. (NASA)

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NASA works to bring back Supersonic Travel

 

Written by J.D. Harrington
NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – The return of supersonic passenger air travel is one step closer to reality with NASA’s award of a contract for the preliminary design of a “low boom” flight demonstration aircraft. This is the first in a series of ‘X-planes’ in NASA’s New Aviation Horizons initiative, introduced in the agency’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden announced the award at an event Monday at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Virginia.

This is an artist’s concept of a possible Low Boom Flight Demonstration Quiet Supersonic Transport (QueSST) X-plane design. The award of a preliminary design contract is the first step towards the possible return of supersonic passenger travel – but this time quieter and more affordable. (Lockheed Martin)

This is an artist’s concept of a possible Low Boom Flight Demonstration Quiet Supersonic Transport (QueSST) X-plane design. The award of a preliminary design contract is the first step towards the possible return of supersonic passenger travel – but this time quieter and more affordable. (Lockheed Martin)

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NASA Researchers work on Fuel Additive that could reduce Jet Fuel Volatility

 

Written by Elizabeth Landau
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Airplane accidents are especially dangerous because jet fuel is highly flammable under crash conditions. On impact, jet fuel is dispersed in the air as a fine mist, which triggers a sequence of events that can lead to a fire engulfing an entire plane.

Researchers at the California Institute of Technology and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which is managed by Caltech, have been working on additives that inhibit the formation of this highly flammable mist during collisions. These additives are based on long molecules called polymers.

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NASA’s initial tests of Morphing Wing Technology a Success

 

Written by J.D. Harrington
NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA researchers, working in concert with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and FlexSys Inc., of Ann Arbor, Michigan, successfully completed initial flight tests of a new morphing wing technology that has the potential to save millions of dollars annually in fuel costs, reduce airframe weight and decrease aircraft noise during takeoffs and landings.

The test team at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California, flew 22 research flights during the past six months with experimental Adaptive Compliant Trailing Edge (ACTE) flight control surfaces that offer significant improvements over conventional flaps used on existing aircraft.

NASA successfully completed flight tests of a morphing wing technology. Flap angles were adjusted from -2 degrees up to 30 degrees during the six months of testing. (NASA)

NASA successfully completed flight tests of a morphing wing technology. Flap angles were adjusted from -2 degrees up to 30 degrees during the six months of testing. (NASA)

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NASA’s Aeronautics Research benefits those flying this Holiday weekend

 

Written by Jim Banke
NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – Traveling by air this holiday season, or any time of year? If so then you’ll be in the company of millions who are directly benefiting from the ongoing research performed by NASA’s aeronautical innovators now, and in the future.

During 2012, NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate continued a wide range of research projects aimed at advancing the science of flight.

NASA-developed technology is onboard nearly every commercial aircraft flying today or in use at every major airport. (Image credit: NASA)

NASA-developed technology is onboard nearly every commercial aircraft flying today or in use at every major airport. (Image credit: NASA)

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