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Technical Paper

Piezoelectric Actuator Configuration Optimization for Active Structural Acoustic Control in Aircraft

This paper has presented a technique for the determination of an optimal configuration of fuselage mounted piezoelectric actuators for active structural acoustic control of interior noise in aircraft. The technique has demonstrated much potential in preliminary experiments where actuators were configured to couple into the first principal component of the acoustically coupled fuselage vibration. In this test, average reductions of 6 dB at the error microphones and 4 dB at five auxiliary microphones were observed for a pure tone disturbance at the left forward engine pylon of a business jet. This disturbance was used to simulate an oscillating force due to engine unbalance.
Technical Paper

Advanced Analysis Methods and Nondestructive Inspection Technology Under Development in the NASA Airframe Structural Integrity Program

An advanced analytical methodology has been developed for predicting the residual strength of stiffened thin-sheet riveted shell structures such as those used for the fuselage of a commercial transport aircraft. The crack-tip opening angle elastic-plastic fracture criterion has been coupled to a geometric and material nonlinear finite element shell code for analyzing complex structural behavior. An automated adaptive mesh refinement capability together with global-local analysis methods have been developed to predict the behavior of fuselage structure with long cracks. This methodology is currently being experimentally verified. Advanced nondestructive inspection technology has been developed that will provide airline operators with the capability to conduct reliable and economical broad-area inspections of aircraft structures.
Technical Paper

Overview of Noise Reduction Technology in the NASA Short Haul (Civil Tiltrotor) Program

Noise is a barrier issue for penetration of civil markets by future tiltrotor aircraft. To address this issue, elements of the NASA Short Haul (Civil Tiltrotor) [SH(CT)] program are working in three different areas: noise abatement, noise reduction, and noise prediction. Noise abatement refers to modification of flight procedures to achieve quieter approaches. Noise reduction refers to innovative new rotor designs that would reduce the noise produced by a tiltrotor. Noise prediction activities are developing the tools to guide the design of future quiet tiltrotors. This paper presents an overview of SH(CT) activities in all three areas, including sample results.
Technical Paper

Overview of Structural Behavior and Occupant Responses from a Crash Test of a Composite Airplane

As part of NASA's composite structures crash dynamics research, a general aviation aircraft with composite wing, fuselage and empennage (but with metal subfloor structure) was crash tested at the NASA Langley Research Center Impact Dynamics Research Facility. The test was conducted to determine composite aircraft structural behavior for crash loading conditions and to provide a baseline for a similar aircraft test with a modified subfloor. Structural integrity and cabin volume were maintained. Lumbar loads for dummy occupants in energy absorbing seats were substantially lower than those in standard aircraft seats; however, loads in the standard seats were much higher than those recorded under similar conditions for an all-metallic aircraft.
Technical Paper

Development of Race Car Testing at the Langley Full-Scale Tunnel

This paper reviews the development of a new test capability for race cars at the Langley Full-Scale Tunnel. The existing external force balance of the Langley Full-Scale Tunnel, designed for use with full-scale aircraft, was reconfigured for automobile testing. Details of structural modifications relevant to supporting cars and force measurements are shown. A specialized automobile force balance, measuring vehicle drag and individual wheel downforce, was then designed, constructed and calibrated. The design was governed by simplicity and low cost and was tailored to the stock car racing community. The balance became fully operational in early 1998. The overall layout of the automobile balance and comparisons to reference data from another full-scale wind tunnel is presented.
Technical Paper

Application of Laminar Flow Control to High-Bypass-Ratio Turbofan Engine Nacelles

Recently, the concept of the application of hybrid laminar flow to modern commercial transport aircraft was successfully flight tested on a Boeing 757 aircraft. In this limited demonstration, in which only part of the upper surface of the swept wing was designed for the attainment of laminar flow, significant local drag reduction was measured. This paper addresses the potential application of this technology to laminarize the external surface of large, modern turbofan engine nacelles which may comprise as much as 5-10 percent of the total wetted area of future commercial transports. A hybrid-laminar-fiow-control (HLFC) pressure distribution is specified and the corresponding nacelle geometry is computed utilizing a predictor/corrector design method. Linear stability calculations are conducted to provide predictions of the extent of the laminar boundary layer. Performance studies are presented to determine potential benefits in terms of reduced fuel consumption.
Technical Paper

The Effect of Runway Surface and Braking on Shuttle Orbiter Main Gear Tire Wear

In 1988, a 1067 m long touchdown zone on each end of the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) was modified from its original heavy-broom finish with transverse grooves configuration to a longitudinal corduroy surface texture with no transverse grooves. The intent of this modification was to reduce the spin-up wear on the Orbiter main gear tires and provide for somewhat higher crosswind capabilities at that site. The modification worked well, so it was proposed that the remainder of the runway be modified as well to permit even higher crosswind landing capability. Tests were conducted at the NASA Langley Aircraft Landing Dynamics Facility (ALDF) to evaluate the merit of such a modification. This paper discusses the results of these tests, and explains why the proposed modification did not provide the expected improvement and thus was not implemented.
Technical Paper

Nonlinear Structural Crash Dynamics Analyses

Presented in this paper are the results of three nonlinear computer programs, KRASH, ACTION and DYCAST used to analyze the dynamic response of a twin-engine, low-wing airplane section subjected to a 8.38 m/s (27.5 ft/s) vertical impact velocity crash condition. This impact condition simulates the vertical sink rate in a shallow aircraft landing or takeoff accident. The three distinct analysis techniques for nonlinear dynamic response of aircraft structures are briefly examined and compared versus each other and the experimental data. The report contains brief descriptions of the three computer programs, the respective aircraft section mathematical models, pertinent data from the experimental test performed at NASA Langley, and a comparison of the analyses versus test results. Cost and accuracy comparisons between the three analyses are made to illustrate the possible uses of the different nonlinear programs and their future potential.
Technical Paper

Aerodynamic-Performance Planform and Camber Optimization of a Supersonic Transport Wing

This paper describes recent research in integrated aerodynamic-performance design optimization applied to a supersonic transport wing. The subsonic and supersonic aerodynamics are modeled with linear theory and the aircraft performance is evaluated by using a complete mission analysis. The goal of the optimization problem is to either maximize the aircraft range or minimize the take-off gross weight while constraining the total fuel load and approach speed. A major difficulty encountered during this study was the inability to obtain accurate derivatives of the aerodynamic models with respect to the planform shape. This work addresses this problem and provides one solution for the derivative difficulties. Additional optimization studies reveal the impact of camber design on the global optimization problem. In these studies, the plan-form optimization is first conducted on a flat plate wing and camber optimization is performed on the resulting planform.
Technical Paper

NASA Evaluation of Type II Chemical Depositions

Recent findings from NASA Langley tests to define effects of aircraft Type II chemical deicer depositions on aircraft tire friction performance are summarized. The Aircraft Landing Dynamics Facility (ALDF) is described together with the scope of the tire cornering and braking friction tests conducted up to 160 knots ground speed. Some lower speed 32-96 km/hr (20-60 mph) test run data obtained using an Instrumented Tire Test Vehicle (ITTV) to determine effects of tire bearing pressure and transverse grooving on cornering friction performance are also discussed. Recommendations are made concerning which parameters should be evaluated in future testing.
Technical Paper

Braking, Steering, and Wear Performance of Radial-Belted and Bias-Ply Aircraft Tires

Preliminary braking, steering, and tread wear performance results from testing of 26 x 6.6 and 40 x 14 radial-belted and bias-ply aircraft tires at NASA Langley's Aircraft Landing Dynamics Facility (ALDF) are reviewed. These tire tests are part of a larger, ongoing joint NASA/FAA/Industry Surface Traction And Radial Tire (START) Program involving these two different tire sizes as well as an H46 x 18-20 tire size which has not yet been evaluated. Both dry and wet surface conditions were evaluated on two different test surfaces - nongrooved Portland cement concrete and specially constructed, hexagonal-shaped concrete paver blocks. Use of paver blocks at airport facilities has been limited to ramp and taxiway areas and the industry needs a tire friction evaluation of this paving material prior to additional airport pavement installations.
Technical Paper

Flow Rate and Trajectory of Water Spray Produced by an Aircraft Tire

One of the risks associated with wet runway aircraft operation is the ingestion of water spray produced by an aircraft's tires into its engines. This problem can be especially dangerous at or near rotation speed on the takeoff roll. An experimental investigation was conducted in the NASA Langley Research Center Hydrodynamics Research Facility to measure the flow rate and trajectory of water spray produced by an aircraft nose tire operating on a flooded runway. The effects of various parameters on the spray patterns including distance aft of nosewheel, speed, load, and water depth were evaluated. Variations in the spray pattern caused by the airflow about primary structure such as the fuselage and wing are discussed. A discussion of events in and near the tire footprint concerning spray generation is included.
Technical Paper

Tire and Runway Surface Research

The condition of aircraft tires and runway surfaces can be crucial in meeting the stringent demands of aircraft ground operations, particularly under adverse weather conditions. Gaining a better understanding of the factors influencing the tire/pavement interface is the aim of several ongoing NASA Langley research programs which are described in this paper. Results from several studies conducted at the Langley Aircraft Landing Dynamics Facility, tests with instrumented ground vehicles and aircraft, and some recent aircraft accident investigations are summarized to indicate effects of different tire and runway properties. The Joint FAA/NASA Runway Friction Program is described together with some preliminary test findings. The scope of future NASA Langley research directed towards solving aircraft ground operational problems related to the tire/pavement interface is given.
Technical Paper

Wind-Tunnel Investigation of a General Aviation Airplane Equipped With a High Aspect-Ratio, Natural-Laminar-Flow Wing

An investigation has been conducted in the Langley 30- by 60-Foot Wind Tunnel to evaluate the performance and stability and control characteristics of a full-scale general aviation airplane equipped with a natural-laminar-flow wing. The study focused on the effects of natural laminar flow and boundary layer transition, and on the effects of several wing leading-edge modifications designed to improve the stall resistance of the configuration. Force and moment data were measured over wide angle-of-attack and sideslip ranges and at Reynolds numbers from 1.4 × 106 to 2.1 × 106 based on the mean aerodynamic chord. Additional measurements were made using hot-film and sublimating-chemical techniques to determine the condition of the wing boundary layer, and wool tufts were used to study the wing stalling characteristics. The investigation showed that large regions of natural laminar flow existed on the wing which would significantly enhance the cruise performance of the configuration.
Technical Paper

Cornering and Wear Behavior of the Space Shuttle Orbiter Main Gear Tire

One of the factors needed to describe the handling characteristics of the Space Shuttle Orbiter during the landing rollout is the response of the vehicle's tires to variations in load and yaw angle. An experimental investigation of the cornering characteristics of the Orbiter main gear tires was conducted at the NASA Langley Research Center Aircraft Landing Dynamics Facility. This investigation compliments earlier work done to define the Orbiter nose tire cornering characteristics. In the investigation, the effects of load and yaw angle were evaluated by measuring parameters such as side load and drag load, and obtaining measurements of aligning torque. Because the tire must operate on an extremely rough runway at the Shuttle Landing Facility at Kennedy Space Center (KSC), tests were also conducted to describe the wear behavior of the tire under various conditions on a simulated KSC runway surface. Mathematical models for both the cornering and the wear behavior are discussed.
Technical Paper

Static Mechanical Properties of 30 × 11.5-14.5, Type VII, Aircraft Tires of Bias-Ply and Radial-Belted Design

An investigation was conducted to determine the static mechanical characteristics of 30 × 11.5 - 14.5 bias-ply and radial aircraft tires. The tires were subjected to vertical and lateral loads and mass moment of inertia tests were conducted. Static load deflection curves, spring rates, hysteresis losses, and inertia data are presented along with a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of one tire over the other.
Technical Paper

Orbiter Post-Tire Failure and Skid Testing Results

An investigation was conducted at the NASA Langley Research Center's Aircraft Landing Dynamics Facility (ALDF) to define the post-tire failure drag characteristics of the Space Shuttle Orbiter main tire and wheel assembly. Skid tests on various materials were also conducted to define their friction and wear rate characteristics under higher speed and bearing pressures than any previous tests. The skid tests were conducted to support a feasibility study of adding a skid to the orbiter strut between the main tires to protect an intact tire from failure due to overload should one of the tires fail. Roll-on-rim tests were conducted to define the ability of a standard and a modified orbiter main wheel to roll without a tire. Results of the investigation are combined into a generic model of strut drag versus time under failure conditions for inclusion into rollout simulators used to train the shuttle astronauts.
Technical Paper

Wingtip Vortex Turbine Investigation for Vortex Energy Recovery

A flight test investigation has been conducted to determine the performance of wingtip vortex turbines and their effect on aircraft performance. The turbines were designed to recover part of the large energy loss (induced drag) caused by the wingtip vortex. The turbine, driven by the vortex flow, reduces the strength of the vortex, resulting in an associated induced drag reduction. A four-blade turbine was mounted on each wingtip of a single-engine, T-tail, general aviation airplane. Two sets of turbine blades were tested, one with a 15° twist (washin) and one with no twist. The power recovered by the turbine and the installed drag increment were measured. A trade-off between turbine power and induced drag reduction was found to be a function of turbine blade incidence angle. This test has demonstrated that the wingtip vortex turbine is an attractive alternate, as well as an emergency, power source.
Technical Paper

Light Aircraft Crash Safety Program

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have joined forces in a General Aviation Crashworthiness Program. This paper describes the research and development tasks of the program which are the responsibility of NASA. NASA is embarked upon research and development tasks aimed at providing the general aviation industry with a reliable crashworthy airframe design technology. The goals of the NASA program are: reliable analytical techniques for predicting the nonlinear behavior of structures; significant design improvements of airframes; and simulated full-scale crash test data. The analytical tools will include both simplified procedures for estimating energy absorption characteristics and more complex computer programs for analysis of general airframe structures under crash loading conditions.
Technical Paper

New Design and Operating Techniques for Improved Terminal Area Compatibility*

Current aircraft operating problems that must be alleviated for future high-density terminal areas are safety, dependence on weather, congestion, energy conservation, noise, and atmospheric pollution. The MLS under development by FAA provides increased capabilities over the current ILS. It is, however, necessary and urgent to develop the airborne system's capability to take maximum advantage of the MLS capabilities in order to solve the terminal area problems previously mentioned. A major limiting factor in longitudinal spacing for capacity increase is the trailing vortex hazard. Promising methods for causing early dissipation of the vortices are being explored. Also, flight procedures for avoiding the hazard will be explored.