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BUFF

NASA poised to test deadly flying conditions

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Most pilots avoid bad weather but NASA is fashioning a team and a jet to do

just the opposite. And on of its first missions is to fly into hazardous

weather to study a phenomenon that has caused more than 100 commercial

aircraft engines to fail, stall or temporarily lose power, NASA said.

The space agency has snapped up a Navy S-3B Viking jet and outfitted it with

commercial satellite communications, global positioning navigation and

weather radar systems. Engineers from NASA's Glenn Research Center, Boeing

and the Navy have combined forces to transform the S-3B into a

state-of-the-art NASA research aircraft installed research equipment racks

in what was once the plane's bomb bay. And they gave it a shiny

blue-and-white NASA paint job, the agency said.

With these new features, NASA's S-3B Viking is equipped to conduct science

and aeronautics missions, such as environmental monitoring, satellite

communications testing and aviation safety research. It can fly up to 40,000

feet high and reach speeds faster than 500 miles per hour, which makes it

perfect for studying commercial airline safety issues, the agency said.

The S-3B Viking was built from the ground up to handle the Navy's rugged

requirement to take off and land on aircraft carrier ships. The Viking was

the Navy's primary sub-hunting aircraft and was also touted as an

all-weather, highly stable airplane. However it is currently being

decommissioned by the Navy in favor of other newer aircraft.

"We were able to capitalize on the decommissioning by acquiring the aircraft

directly from the Navy," explained Dr. Rickey Shyne, director of Glenn's

Facilities and Test Directorate. "This saved taxpayers millions of dollars

compared to the cost of a new aircraft."

As for NASA's S-3B, the agency said this fall it will take off from Puerto

Rico to study icing conditions in convective storms, ranging from isolated

thunderstorms to tropical storms. In conditions like these, ice crystals

have been ingested into aircraft engines causing problems, NASA said.During

the flight, research equipment will collect data, such as the size of ice

and liquid cloud particles, water content in the clouds, temperature and

humidity. Glenn researchers will use this data to develop an engineering

standard to test engines.

Glenn has been studying aircraft icing, the leading natural cause of

airplane accidents, for 25 years using its Icing Research Tunnel and its

Twin Otter research aircraft. Engineers at the center have helped the

aviation industry to understand how ice forms in flight and how it affects

aircraft performance. They have evaluated de-icing systems and developed new

remote-sensing devices that warn pilots before flying into icy conditions.

This mission is part of NASA's Aviation Safety Program, which partners with

the Federal Aviation Administration, airlines and the Department of Defense,

to reduce the rate of aircraft fatalities. NASA and its partners plan to

build test facilities and computer codes that propulsion engineers can use

when designing engines, the agency said.

NASA isn't the only government agency looking into weather-related research

involving aircraft and dangerous missions. The US National Oceanic and

Atmospheric Administration last month announced a $3 million, three-year

program that to test the use of unmanned aircraft to measure hurricanes,

arctic and Antarctic ice changes and other environmental tasks. The agency

said the drone aircraft would be outfitted with special sensors and

technology to help NOAA scientists better predict a hurricane's intensity

and track, how fast Arctic summer ice will melt, and whether soggy Pacific

storms will flood West Coast cities.

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Most pilots avoid bad weather but NASA is fashioning a team and a jet to do

just the opposite. And on of its first missions is to fly into hazardous

weather to study a phenomenon that has caused more than 100 commercial

aircraft engines to fail, stall or temporarily lose power, NASA said.

The space agency has snapped up a Navy S-3B Viking jet and outfitted it with

commercial satellite communications, global positioning navigation and

weather radar systems. Engineers from NASA's Glenn Research Center, Boeing

and the Navy have combined forces to transform the S-3B into a

state-of-the-art NASA research aircraft installed research equipment racks

in what was once the plane's bomb bay. And they gave it a shiny

blue-and-white NASA paint job, the agency said.

With these new features, NASA's S-3B Viking is equipped to conduct science

and aeronautics missions, such as environmental monitoring, satellite

communications testing and aviation safety research. It can fly up to 40,000

feet high and reach speeds faster than 500 miles per hour, which makes it

perfect for studying commercial airline safety issues, the agency said.

The S-3B Viking was built from the ground up to handle the Navy's rugged

requirement to take off and land on aircraft carrier ships. The Viking was

the Navy's primary sub-hunting aircraft and was also touted as an

all-weather, highly stable airplane. However it is currently being

decommissioned by the Navy in favor of other newer aircraft.

"We were able to capitalize on the decommissioning by acquiring the aircraft

directly from the Navy," explained Dr. Rickey Shyne, director of Glenn's

Facilities and Test Directorate. "This saved taxpayers millions of dollars

compared to the cost of a new aircraft."

As for NASA's S-3B, the agency said this fall it will take off from Puerto

Rico to study icing conditions in convective storms, ranging from isolated

thunderstorms to tropical storms. In conditions like these, ice crystals

have been ingested into aircraft engines causing problems, NASA said.During

the flight, research equipment will collect data, such as the size of ice

and liquid cloud particles, water content in the clouds, temperature and

humidity. Glenn researchers will use this data to develop an engineering

standard to test engines.

Glenn has been studying aircraft icing, the leading natural cause of

airplane accidents, for 25 years using its Icing Research Tunnel and its

Twin Otter research aircraft. Engineers at the center have helped the

aviation industry to understand how ice forms in flight and how it affects

aircraft performance. They have evaluated de-icing systems and developed new

remote-sensing devices that warn pilots before flying into icy conditions.

This mission is part of NASA's Aviation Safety Program, which partners with

the Federal Aviation Administration, airlines and the Department of Defense,

to reduce the rate of aircraft fatalities. NASA and its partners plan to

build test facilities and computer codes that propulsion engineers can use

when designing engines, the agency said.

NASA isn't the only government agency looking into weather-related research

involving aircraft and dangerous missions. The US National Oceanic and

Atmospheric Administration last month announced a $3 million, three-year

program that to test the use of unmanned aircraft to measure hurricanes,

arctic and Antarctic ice changes and other environmental tasks. The agency

said the drone aircraft would be outfitted with special sensors and

technology to help NOAA scientists better predict a hurricane's intensity

and track, how fast Arctic summer ice will melt, and whether soggy Pacific

storms will flood West Coast cities.

 

Buff..As usual a very interesting and informative post. We should have more of these to offset the sillier ones.

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Vikings have one final chance to shine now :smile:

 

Thanks for posting this. I do want to see this Viking however.

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