Learn about the NASA researches on wake vortices to make commercial flights safer.
Read the full transcript »
Studying Aeronautics Wake Vortices These model airplanes have something in common with these real planes. The real part of a NASA research program to learn about wake vortices, tornado like patterns of air that trail behind the wings of airplanes causing varying degrees of turbulence. Sheer energy of this wing turbulence left in the wake of larger aircraft has the ability to completely invert lighter aircraft that maybe following. This is especially dangerous as craft approach for landing. While all aircraft cools vortices, large and heavy jets such as the 747 and DC 10 create the most serious problems. Their traffic density around major airports adds to the severity of the problem. Because of the business of some airports, planes had to be sequenced behind one another so that a safe distance could be maintained to avoid the trailing voltex problem. However, this often resulted in increase fuel use air traffic delays. Smoke generators mounted on the wings of these planes by NASA researches maybe possible to see and investigate the thrilling air patents. Research showed that by adjusting wind flaps at different angles and by making various design changes, the intensity of the vortices could be substantially reduced. But this wasn’t the only research NASA was conducting. For 60 years, NASA has pioneered in aeronautical research. During World War II, the need was for real time problem solving to respond to various crisis. More recently however, research was aimed at making planes fly higher faster, further, quieter, and with greatest safety. It was little one that then that researching to the problem of wake vortices should be taken up with such enthusiasm. Research of these vortices range from studies like this at NASA’s Flight Research Center in California where different combinations of gear and flaps were used to break up the voltex to an experimental laser system at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama working with the Federal Aviation Authority, the experimental laser program was an effort to develop an accurate voltex detection and monitoring system that would permit tracking the path of vortices produced by large aircraft. Few attested that John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, the laser research was specifically aimed at making commercial air traffic safer. Information gained by flights of the 3500 kilometer per hour YF-12 helped the designers of new aircraft in spacecraft, 18 stability and control aircraft loads. These were just a few of the many tests that employed the high speed planes flying research tools. The rocket powered X24 completed 36 missions over the desert near the Flight Research Center which move up to a close experimental rocket powered flight tests that began with the XS-1 in 1946. These unique planes proved extremely valuable in advanced aeronautics research using the same aeronautic—to design sleek high speed jet planes. NASA engineers cooperated with the Department of Transportation to test a variety of fuel saving modifications for large trucks. Even some simple changes resulted in a 40% reduction in aerodynamic draft which is the green resistance that forces the truck engine to work harder. It’s translated directly into a highway cruise fuel reduction of 20% to 25%, an interesting ground transportation problem being aided by aeronautic research techniques. Wake vortices of course are specially dangerous for small aircraft hence the crash–—tests at NASA’s Langley Research Center where at least in thought driven by the need to reduce the number of excellence that arose from light aircraft following too closely in the weight of heavy appliance. Another important element in reducing aerial fatalities was the education of pilots. An instrumental in that has been the flight simulator for advanced aircraft. What the pilot sees and hears in the simulator at NASA’s Ames research Center is like the real thing. All this part of NASA’s long history of research aimed at improvin
Copyright © 2005 - 2014 Healthline Networks, Inc. All rights reserved for Healthline.