Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

NASA Flying Wing Model Soars In Historic Wind Tunnel

Date:
November 11, 2005
Source:
National Aeronautics And Space Administration
Summary:
Ask anyone what an airplane looks like and most will tell you a tube with wings. NASA researchers are trying to expand that image. They're testing a design for a flying wing, called a blended wing body. Technicians have installed a five-percent scale model of a blended wing body in the Langley Full-Scale Tunnel at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. During tests in the tunnel's huge 30X60 foot test section, pilots "flew" the 12-foot wingspan, 80-pound model.

Image above is artist concept of one version of the blended wing body aircraft.
Credit: Image courtesy of NASA

Ask anyone what an airplane looks like and most will tell you a tube with wings. NASA researchers are trying to expand that image. They're testing a design for a flying wing, called a blended wing body.

Technicians have installed a five-percent scale model of a blended wing body in the Langley Full-Scale Tunnel at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. During tests in the tunnel's huge 30X60 foot test section, pilots "flew" the 12-foot wingspan, 80-pound model. It stayed aloft in the tunnel's wind stream constrained only by a tether cable. The flying wing is the biggest model ever free flight tested in the Full Scale Tunnel.

"We want to understand the edge of the envelope flight characteristics of the blended wing body," said Dan Vicroy, blended wing body flight dynamics principal investigator. "We're comfortable with the flight characteristics of conventional tube with wings airplanes, but we don't have much experience with flying wings."

NASA is working with Boeing Phantom Works, Long Beach, Calif., on this advanced, more fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly airplane concept. Researchers say a blended wing body could be useful as a multi-role aircraft for the military, including functioning as a tanker, cargo or transport plane.

Much testing needs to be done before the flying wing could be safely introduced as a transport aircraft. The blended wing body doesn't have a conventional airplane tail, used to control pitch (up and down) and yaw (side to side) motions. Instead it uses a combination of control surfaces on the trailing edge of the wing to maneuver the airplane. The free flight tests will help assess the best combination of control surfaces and limits.

Other questions also need to be answered about the blended wing body configuration. "One question is how do you build a lightweight structure that can be pressurized," Vicroy said. "It's easy to pressurize a tube, but not as easy to pressurize a non-cylindrical shape."

Even building the blended wing body model was a challenge. For this test the model had to be dynamically scaled. It had to have the same scaled shape as the real plane, same scaled weight and inertia characteristics of roll, pitch and yaw. The model had to be light for its size. It was built from graphite composite material similar to a Formula 1 racecar.

Owned by Langley and operated by Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Va. The Tunnel was completed in 1931. It has tested World War II fighters, submarines, the Mercury space capsules, supersonic transport concepts and the flying wing.

The research is part of the Fundamental Aeronautics Program in NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate. The program's goal is to advance breakthrough aerospace technologies.

Video of testing is available on the NASA TV Videofile. For continental North America, NASA TV is carried on an MPEG-2 digital signal accessed via satellite AMC-6, at 72 degrees west longitude, transponder 17C, 4040 MHz, vertical polarization. It's available in Alaska and Hawaii on an MPEG-2 digital signal accessed via satellite AMC-7, transponder 18C, 137 degrees west longitude, 4060 MHz, vertical polarization. A Digital Video Broadcast compliant Integrated Receiver Decoder is required for reception. For information about NASA TV, including digital down link information, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/ntv For information about NASA and agency programs on the Web, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/home


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Aeronautics And Space Administration. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Aeronautics And Space Administration. "NASA Flying Wing Model Soars In Historic Wind Tunnel." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 November 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/11/051110214321.htm>.
National Aeronautics And Space Administration. (2005, November 11). NASA Flying Wing Model Soars In Historic Wind Tunnel. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/11/051110214321.htm
National Aeronautics And Space Administration. "NASA Flying Wing Model Soars In Historic Wind Tunnel." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/11/051110214321.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gulfstream G500, G600 Unveiling

Gulfstream G500, G600 Unveiling

Flying (Oct. 20, 2014) Watch Gulfstream's public launch of the G500 and G600 at their headquarters in Savannah, Ga., along with a surprise unveiling of the G500, which taxied up under its own power. Video provided by Flying
Powered by NewsLook.com
Japanese Scientists Unveil Floating 3D Projection

Japanese Scientists Unveil Floating 3D Projection

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 20, 2014) Scientists in Tokyo have demonstrated what they say is the world's first 3D projection that floats in mid air. A laser that fires a pulse up to a thousand times a second superheats molecules in the air, creating a spark which can be guided to certain points in the air to shape what the human eye perceives as an image. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-Fuel Impala

Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-Fuel Impala

3BL Media (Oct. 20, 2014) Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-fuel Impala Video provided by 3BL
Powered by NewsLook.com
What We Know About Microsoft's Rumored Smartwatch

What We Know About Microsoft's Rumored Smartwatch

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) Microsoft will reportedly release a smartwatch that works across different mobile platforms, has a two-day battery life and tracks heart rate. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins