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Technical Paper

Test Techniques for STOVL Large-Scale Powered Models

Predicting and testing for hover performance, both in and out of ground effect, and transition performance, from jet- to wing-borne flight and back, for vertical/short takeoff and landing (V/STOL) configurations can be a difficult task. Large-scale testing of these configurations can provide for a better representation of the flow physics than small-scale testing. This paper will discuss some of the advantages in testing at large-scale and some test techniques and issues involved with testing large-scale STOVL models. The two premier test facilities for testing large- to full-scale STOVL configurations are the Outdoor Aerodynamic Research Facility (OARF) and the 80- by 120-Foot Wind Tunnel of the National Full-Scale Aerodynamics Complex (NFAC). Other items of discussion will include force and moment measurements, jet efflux decay, wall effects, tunnel flow breakdown, strut interference, and flow visualization options.
Technical Paper


A series of tests has been completed in which suckdown and fountain forces and pressures were measured on circular plates and twin-tandem-jet generic STOVL (short takeoff and vertical landing) configurations. The tests were conducted using a small-scale hover rig, for jet pressure ratios up to 6 and jet temperatures up to 700°F. The measured suckdown force on a circular plate with a central jet was greater than that found with a commonly used empirical prediction method. The present data showed better agreement with other sets of data. The tests of the generic STOVL configurations were conducted to provide force and pressure data with a parametric variation of parameters so that an empirical prediction method could be developed. The effects of jet pressure ratio and temperature were found to be small. Lift improvement devices were shown to substantially reduce the net suckdown forces. Paper to be presented at SAE Aerospace Meeting, Dayton, Ohio, April 24-27, 1990
Technical Paper

Summary of NASA's Extreme Short Take-Off and Landing (ESTOL) Vehicle Sector Activities

NASA is exploring a research activity to identify the technologies that will enable an Extreme Short Take-Off and Landing (ESTOL) aircraft. ESTOL aircraft have the potential to offer a viable solution to airport congestion, delay, capacity, and community noise concerns. This can be achieved by efficiently operating in the underutilized or unused airport ground and airspace infrastructure, while operating simultaneously, but not interfering with, conventional air traffic takeoffs and landings. Concurrently, the Air Force is exploring ESTOL vehicle solutions in the same general performance class as the NASA ESTOL vehicle to meet a number of Advanced Air Mobility missions. The capability goals of both the military and civil vehicles suggests synergistic technology development benefits. This paper presents a summary of the activities being supported by the NASA ESTOL Vehicle Sector.