256 – Flight Research at NASA Armstrong, Part 1: Subscale
Guest: Al Bowers, Cheng Moua, Matt Moholt Host: Markus Voelter Shownoter: Andy Joiner
As part of my trip to the US earlier this year I visited NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base. I conducted six interviews over two days, the ones concerning subscale research (i.e., on model airplanes) are in this episode. We start with a conversation about flying wings in general and Prandtl-D in particular with Armstrong’s Chief Scientist Al Bowers. Next, we chat about flutter research and the X-56 with project lead Cheng Moua. Finally, we talk to Matt Moholt about his project, the Spanwise Adaptive Wing project.
Prantl-D with Al Bowers00:02:34
(Al Bowers - Chief Scientist at NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center) | Aerodynamics | Rapid prototyping | Miniaturization | Reynolds number | Mach number | Inviscid fluid | Flight mechanics | Drag | flying body | Flying wing | Northrop_YB-49 | Moment | Dutch roll | Albatross | Reimar and Walter Horten | Ludwig Prandtl | Bell-shaped lift distribution | Elliptical lift distribution | Orville and Wilbur Wright | Downwash | Wingtip vortices | Span load | Upwash | Far field | Vortex | Adverse yaw | Proverse yaw | Artificial damping | Lifting-line | Lift distribution | B-2 | Elevon | Vortex generator | SB-13 | Wingtip spoilers | Control forces | Control surface | Yawing moment due to aileron deflection | Doublets | Fiber optic load detection | Pressure data ports | Centre of gravity (CG) | CubeSat | Ballast | NASA Ames project Exo-Brake | Thermal protection | Fuselage | Sailplane | No transients | Retrimming | Propeller | Airspace separation (Steve Portugal - Ibis - overlapping wings | Jeff Spedding - Falcon gliding) | Neutral buoyancy | Paleontology | Pterosaur | Empennage | Oblique wing | R. T. Jones | Richard T. Whitcomb | X-29 | F-8 Digital fly-by-wire | Thrust vectoring | F-18 HARV | X-31 | F-16 MATV | F-15 | Canard | SR-71 | F-106 | Lifting body | X-15 | XB-70 | Low boom demonstrator | X-57
X-56 with Cheng Muoa00:53:06
Cheng Moua project manager for X-56 MUTT | X-56 | UAV | Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) | Modular | Aeroelasticity | Active flutter control | Range support | Fixed gear | Avionics | Quality control | Environmental testing | Flexible wings | Hight aspect-ratio | Envelope expansion | Load testing | Ground vibration tests (FEM - finite element) | Simulation | Coupling effects | Instrumentation | Strain gauge | Acceleration sensors | Calibrated | Real-time | Actuator | Trailing edge flaps | Body flaps | Fidelity | Redundancy | Load alleviation | RF link | Parachute | Flight control system | Camber | Fowler flaps | Slats to change camber | Volcanic ash | Eyjafjallajökull | C-17 | Quiet Spike | Sonic boom | X-plane QueST | Stability control | Analysis | Certification | Incremental changes
Spanwise Adaptive Wing with Matt Moholt01:27:39
(Matt Moholt - Structures Engineer - Aerostructures Branch) | Spanwise adaptive wing project | Folding wings | Shape-memory alloy (SMA) | XB-70 | Wave riding | Supersonic | Winglets | Subsonic | Controls | Data acquisition | Sweep | Thermostat | Heart stent | Training | PTERA | Torque tube | Airfoil
This is a podcast for the thinking man.
This is a very intersting podcast, thank you Markus.
A brief question, Prandtl and propellers, NASA has created a patent, anybody here knowing the patent number?
Great episode, in particular the Prandtl part!
I appreciated what I think you were getting at with the central interviewee about how a year of reviews and meetings to fly a drone is perhaps unnecessary and certainly wide of the mark when compared to previous eras of flight research, but I think he’d been a bit too assimilated into the borg to see your point. It is a bit of a shame if this is the prevalent culture now.
I have just finished Dale Reed’s ‘Wingless Flight’ book about the development of lifting bodies, and he was complaining about how hard it was at Armstrong/Dryden to do good research in the 70s when compared to the 60s, because of the post-apollo culture of bureaucratic overhead and politics, and so I can only imagine what it’s like five decades later.