Paper Authors on Tour - Larry Rinek
Larry Rinek began his lengthy career in the Southern California aerospace industry, and worked for NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab, Menasco's Burbank aircraft landing gear plant, and the USAF in El Segundo. Later, at SRI International (the former Stanford Research Institute) and on behalf of the Stanford Transportation Group consultancy in Northern California, he performed many business and technology studies for aerospace clients over a 25+ year period. Since 1998, Larry has been Frost & Sullivan's Director of Consulting in Northern California, working with a variety of industries.
Larry has an MBA in Marketing, and a BS degree in Industrial Engineering from the UCLA. He is an active member of AIAA, SAE, SAE's Historical Committee, the American Aviation Historical Society (AAHS), and the Aircraft Engine Historical Society (AEHS). He was former Chair of the SAE Mid-California Section. Mr. Rinek is a well-recognized aviation historian, author, and speaker. He places research emphasis on U.S. technology innovation, particularly in aero-propulsion. He has authored 15 scholarly publications (many concerning the early development of American aviation), including 6 published by the SAE.
The Controversial F-111 Fighter/Bomber Program: An Historical Perspective
The notorious F-111 program started off roughly in the 1960s as a questionable multi-role (fighter/bomber/recon) aircraft concept (TFX). General Dynamics and Grumman were selected as prime contractors. By the time the USAF retired all of its F-111s in the late 1990s, the aircraft had developed an outstanding combat reputation, operating especially well at night and in all weather. The F-111 pioneered innovations in variable wing geometry (1st production swing wing), propulsion (1st production afterburning turbofan), terrain-following radar (TFR), and a novel rocket-powered crew escape capsule.
The Evolution of Aircraft Flight Controls: An Historical Perspective
How do pilots enable an aircraft to head in the desired direction, do it quickly and safely, and with a correct aircraft attitude? A variety of primary and secondary flight control surfaces have been developed over time by aero engineers for that purpose. Control solutions are also intertwined with the important issue of aircraft stability. Inherently stable aircraft tend to be sluggish and resist control inputs by pilots, while unstable aircraft (by contrast) can be quite maneuverable. Many aircraft examples will be presented covering the whole spectrum of controls solutions, including basic mechanical controls, enhanced mechanical controls, hydraulic controls, augmented hydraulic controls, analog fly-by-wire controls, and modern digital fly-by-wire controls.
Boeing's Magnificent B-52 Stratofortress Bomber
The impressive USAF Boeing B-52 Stratofortress jet bomber, was considered quite advanced when entering SAC wing service in June 1955, and amazingly continues in front-line combat service to this day--over 58 years later. The B-52 is expected by the Air Force to be able to serve until 2045 (90 years), easily the best longevity of any front-line combat warbird ever built. Affectionately known to its aircrews as the "BUFF", the B-52 has made legendary contributions to military aviation history. Conceived as a replacement for the huge and relatively slow Convair B-36, the B-52 originally served on alert as our front-line intercontinental strategic nuclear heavyweight bomber. Later, the B-52 served America well in conventional combat bombing roles in Southeast Asia, Gulf War I, southern Iraq, Yugoslavia (Serbia/Kosovo), Afghanistan, and Gulf War II (Iraq) campaigns. A key to the B-52's continuing useful service has been its exceptional multirole flexibility in delivering a wide variety of modern offensive weapons, including GPS/precision-guided "smart bombs" (JDAMs), and air-launched cruise missiles (ALCMs) for stand-off attacks, with both conventional and nuclear warheads.
Defects in Aircraft Design & Materials: Engineering Lessons Learned
Why have preventable mishaps in aircraft occurred (which are not the fault of pilots), resulting in loss of life and property? How are aircraft put into service with potentially fatal control and stability issues? Many of these incidents are directly attributed to human error and negligence in aircraft design as well as processing of materials (manufacturing issues). How can engineers prevent or at least minimize such unpleasant events, thus improving aircraft safety? What lessons can we learn from historical mishaps, so that they might be avoided in the future? Answers to these questions will be addressed, in the course of exploring 12 case studies, involving both civil and military famous aircraft programs. We will see in these cases how engineers recovered from hidden defects (discovered downstream via aircraft mishaps), and developed workable solutions. Despite lessons learned (presumably) and continual upgrades of engineering methods/tools as well as manufacturing processes over time, unfortunate things still manage to happen to aircraft that are avoidable. Views on future solutions for this challenge will be discussed. Included in the program are two dramatic video clips of defective jet aircraft suffering the consequences of faulty engineering.
Convair F-106 Delta Dart: The Ultimate Interceptor
The Convair F-106 Delta Dart served our country well for almost 40 years, first for the USAF's Air Defense Command (ADC), then the Air National Guard (ANG), and finally NASA. The F-106, successor to Convair's slower F-102 Delta Dagger, had one mission-intercepting airspace intruders, especially Soviet bombers, quickly and with lethal force (including air-to-air nuclear-tip missiles). The F-106 still holds the world speed record for single-jet aircraft.
USAF B-1 Lancer: The "Bone"
The B-1B has served the U.S. for over 25 years, first for the USAF's Strategic Air Command (SAC), then the Air Combat Command (ACC). Initially intended to be a heavy strategic nuclear bomber (on alert) to replace the B-52, the B-1 was later transformed into a conventional ordnance carrier. Born as North American Rockwell's B-1A in the 1970s (subsequently cancelled by President Carter), the Bone re-emerged as the upgraded B-1B under President Reagan in the 1980s. Boeing now manages B-1B upgrades and modifications. The Bone has a controversial history and once had an unflattering image among commanders as a combat asset for the USAF, now corrected. The B-1B ultimately attained a favorable combat record, with exemplary service in Afghanistan and Iraq, enabled in part by high rates of availability.
Evolution of Rotorcraft Technology: An Historical Perspective
Rotorcraft (also known as rotary wing aircraft) have a unique position among heavier-than-air flying machines. They are easily the most maneuverable of all such aircraft. They are the only type that can routinely attain vertical flight and hover for extended periods. Accordingly, they have captured a number of specialized civilian and military missions. Among rotorcraft we have helicopters, autogiros, and tiltrotors. This presentation will trace the origins of rotary wing flight, bring the story up to present, and look into the future. Inventors and experimenters over time have had to overcome major technical obstacles, including issues with propulsion power, weight management, noise/vibration, and stability/control. Thus, rotorcraft lagged fixed-wing aircraft development by 30-40 years. After reviewing some rotorcraft basics (controls, aerodynamics, flight dynamics), the presenter will walk through key historical milestones of rotorcraft development, outlining successful solutions. At the conclusion, attendees will see breathtaking DVD video clips of rotorcraft in action from the IMAX movie "Straight Up."
The History and Technology of Flying Wings: How Did We Get To The B-2A Bomber?
Flying wings, unusual aircraft which have a blend of wing and fuselage with no vertical airframe structures (such as tail fins), have earned a special place in aviation history and aero technology. Noted for their unusual appearance, high airframe efficiency, low drag, and inherently low observability (LO, or stealth), flying wings have had an interesting, but rocky, history of development. They do have a bright future in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), due to their inherent stealth. This presentation will trace the origins of flying wings back to the 1920s, bring the story up to present, and look into the future. Engineers and developers have had to overcome major technical obstacles along the way, including inherently poor stability in yaw, as well as the difficulty of properly manufacturing these aircraft. The presenter will walk through key historical milestones of flying wing aircraft development (in USA with Northrop and in Germany with the Horten brothers), outlining successful technical solutions. At the conclusion, the audience will see breathtaking video clips of historical and modern flying wings in action.