The Wright Brothers, Flight Test and NASA A Centennial of Flight

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					The Wright Brothers,
         Flight Test
                and
              NASA




  A Centennial of Flight Story
                  1903 - 2003
                    The Wright Brothers

•   Orville and Wilbur
•   Dayton, Ohio
•   Wright Cycle Company
•   Brain synchronicity
•   Systematic in their
    experimental approach
                   The Wright Brothers
• Read the research
• Talked with
  colleagues
• Determined problems
  to be solved
• Delineated a process
  for solving problems
  safely
The Wright Brothers


• Problems to be solved
  – Balance during flight: a way to
    safely control the airplane’s
    motion
  – An engine to move it through
    the air
  – Wings needed to lift an
    airplane into the air
                  The Wright Brothers
• Problem
  – Balance during flight:
     a way to safely control the airplane’s motion
The Wright Brothers


   • Balance Solutions
     – Horizontal rudder
     – Wingwarping
     – Hip cradle
                        The Wright Brothers
• Problem
  – An engine to move it
    through the air
     • Lightweight
     • Minimal vibration
     • Powerful enough to turn
       the propellers
The Wright Brothers


• Engine Solutions
  – Small, powerful, gas engine
  – Powered 2 propellers
                        The Wright Brothers
• Problem
  – Wings needed to lift
    airplane into the air
     • Determine the length-
       to-width ratio
     • Proper amount of
       camber
     • Most efficient angle of
       attack
     • The center of pressure
The Wright Brothers


    • Wing Solutions
      – Throw out previous
        tables and theories
      – Devise a better method
        of testing wings
      – Use new test results to
        design a better wing
                              Wright Brothers

• The Wright Brothers’ Results
  – A set of highly accurate tables that predicted in
    advance the performance of an aircraft’s wings
  – Changes in their aircraft design
     •   Biggest glider yet
     •   Longer wings
     •   Narrower wings
     •   Tail section
                         Flight Test

• What is Flight Test?
                                Flight Test

• Early Flight Test Pilots
  – Tower Jumpers
     • Oliver of Malmesbury
     • Giovanni Dante
     • Marquis de Bocqueville
                               Flight Test
• Flight Test Pilots who were Contemporaries
  of the Wright Brothers

                           – Cayley
                           – Otto Lilienthal
                           – Octave Chanute and
                             his young test pilots
                               Flight Test
• Flight Test Pilots who were Contemporaries
  of the Wright Brothers
  – Lawrence Hargrave
  – Percy Pilcher
  – Professor John
                                   Flight Test


• Wright Brothers as Flight Test Pilots
  – Early tests used kite models
  – Performed in Dayton, Ohio
                                     Flight Test

• Wright Brothers as Flight Test Pilots
  – Birds helped flight test
  – Gave idea for “wing-warping”
  – Tested first on bi-winged kite
                                         Flight Test

• Wright Brothers as Flight Test Pilots
  –   Needed location for piloted flight tests
  –   Researched for best place
  –   US National Weather Service
  –   Outer Banks of North Carolina
                                            Flight Test

• Wright Brothers as Flight Test Pilots
  – 1901 - 1902
  – Tested gliders
     • First flown pilotless (like kites)
     • Then piloted
                      Flight Test


• Wright Brothers as Flight Test Pilots
  –   1903
  –   Flight testing power-driven aircraft
  –   Ran ground tests on engine first
  –   Made changes based upon ground tests
  –   Then successfully flight tested
                             Flight Test

• Later Flight Test Pilots
  – Hanna Reitsch
  – Charles Lindberg
                           Flight Test

• Flight Test progresses
                            Flight Test

• NACA
• National Advisory Committee
  for Aeronautics
     Flight Test


• NACA grows
• Wind tunnel complex
  built at Ames
• Tunnels get larger
• Airspeeds get faster
• Testing becomes
  more specialized
                    Flight Test

• Muroc
          • Early flight tests
            – Chalmers Goodlin
            – Chuck Yeager
                         NASA
NACA evolves into NASA
                                     NASA

Ames Research Center

                       • Early Flight Test
                          – Wind Tunnels
                          – Kuiper
                          – XV-15


                       • Present testing
                          – Rotorcraft
                          – Computer
                            simulations
                                      NASA

Dryden Flight Research Center

                          • Early Flight Test
                             – Scott Crossfield
                             – X-15
                             – Lunar Landing
                               Research Vehicle
                          • Present testing
                             – ERAST
                             – Hyper-X
                              NASA

• Flight Test in the Future