This episode is a conversation with Dick Butler, pilot and head of design and construction for Concordia, currently the world’s most advanced sailplane. In the episode we discuss the team behind Concordia, the design challenges, the unique aspects of construction as well as Dick’s preliminary experience flying the airplane.
This episode covers my flights in CAE‘s Dassault Falcon 50 simulator at CAE’s Dallas/Ft. Worth Training Center. In the episode we first talk to the head of business aviation operations about CAE’s flight training branch in general. The main part of the episode covers my three short flights in the Falcon 50 simulator with my flight instructor Paul Gilbert. In the third part, Paul and I talk about his job as a simulator flight instructor in general. And yes, I managed to land the plane several times :-)
This is the long-awaited episode about the Lockheed U-2 Dragon Lady reconnaissance airplaine, the highest-flying jet-powered airplane currently in use. Our guest in the episode is Carl LaRue who has been flying the U-2C and the U-2R in the 60s and 70s. In the episode we discuss the airplane itself, the challenge of flying it, as well as a number of anecdotes surrounding the Dragon Lady.
In this 100th episode of omega tau we talk to Dr. Stephen B. Johnson about system health management, a set of techniques and processes used to improve system dependability. The episode is based on a book Stephen co-edited, and as a consequence of Stephen’s background, we use aerospace examples in this episode. We discuss the fundamental concepts such as functions, states and the state vector, failures and faults. We then discuss the influence of complexity on failures, as well as human involvement. We discuss means to prevent failures such as fault isolation, redundancy and model adjustment. We conclude the three-hour conversation by looking at the future of systems engineering and system health management with a particular focus on formal methods.
This episode is a conversation about airborne wind energy. In particular, we talk to Roland Schmehl who leads a team of researchers and engineers at TU Delft who develop the Kitepower system. In this system, kites are automatically flown in a pumping pattern to extract energy from wind as an alternative to classical ground-based wind turbines. In the conversation we cover the benefits of airborne wind energy in general and of kites in particular and we cover in some detail how the Delft system works technically.
In this episode we discuss the world’s fastest and highest flying jet-powered aircraft ever built, the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird. Our guest is Col. (Ret) Richard Graham, a former SR-71 pilot. Our conversation is loosely based on his book Flying the SR-71, and we discuss the challenge of flying the SR-71. As a consequence of its unique capabilities and its engine and inlet design, the aircraft posed a number of very specific challenges on the pilot.
This episode is a conversation with Dieter Schimanski, the Manager Test & Operations of the European Transonic Windtunnel. In late June of 2011 I had the chance to visit the facility. The episode starts out with a one hour conversation about aerodynamics and the concepts behind the ETW. The rest of the episode is essentially an audio report of the tour I took of the facility. To better grasp the magnitude of the facility, I recommend you take a look at the picture gallery.
In this episode I talk with NASA Dryden Test Pilot Dick Ewers about his work now and in the past. We start by revisiting his test pilot training at the US Navy Test Pilot School, and proceed to talking about his involvement in early F-18 flight testing. We then compare this work to the F-18 work he does today, using the aeroelastic wing and autonomous air refuelling projects as examples. We conclude our conversation by discussing his pole overflights with the DC-8, as well as his hurricane penetration flights with that same aircraft.
This episode is a conversation with Mike Drummond, the Executive Designer for OracleRacing. We talk about the USA 17 yacht which won the 33rd America’s Cup. We talk about the characteristics of the boat, the design process and how the boat is driven during a race.
This is a conversation with Brian Toon about the NASA TC4 project. TC4 stands for “Tropical Composition, Cloud and Climate Coupling” and deals with the chemical, dynamic, and physical processes occurring in the tropical upper troposphere and tropopause transitional layer. In our conversation we cover some of the scientific goals of the project, the tools and technologies used (aircraft and satellites) as well as the general project organization. A later episode will cover the project from the perspective of an ER-2 pilot.