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Technical Paper

Langley Research Center Resources and Needs for Manned Space Operations Simulation

Over the past three decades, the application of simulation facilities to manned space flight projects has increased chances of successful mission completion by revealing the capabilities and limitations of both man and machine. The Space Station era, which implies on-orbit assembly, heightened system complexity, and great diversity of operations and equipment, will require increased dependence on simulation studies to validate the tools and techniques being proposed. For this reason the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) undertook a survey of both the facilities available for and the research requiring such simulations. This paper was written to provide LaRC input to the SAE survey of simulation needs and resources. The paper provides a brief historial sketch of early Langley Research Center simulators, and the circumstances are described which resulted in a de-emphasis of manned simulation in 1971.
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


This paper discusses a project for adapting advanced technology, much of it borrowed from the jet transport, to general aviation design practice. The NASA funded portion of the work began in 1969 at the University of Kansas and resulted in a smaller, experimental wing with spoilers and powerful flap systems for a Cessna Cardinal airplane. The objective was to obtain increased cruise performance and improved ride quality while maintaining the take-off and landing speeds of the unmodified airplane. Some flight data and research pilot comments are presented. The project was expanded in 1972 to include a light twin-engine airplane. For the twin there was the added incentive of a potential increase in single-engine climb performance. The expanded project is a joint effort involving the University of Kansas, Piper Aircraft Company, Robertson Aircraft Company, and Wichita State University. The use of a new high-lift Whitcomb airfoil is planned for both the wing and the propellers.
Technical Paper

Simulation Study of an Automatic Trim System for Reducing the Control Forces on a Light Twin After an Engine Failure

An automatic trim system for reducing the control forces after an engine failure on a light twin has been investigated on the Langley General Aviation Simulator. The system schedules open-loop trim tab deflections as a function of differential propeller slipstream dynamic pressure and freestream dynamic pressure. The system is described and the airplane-system static and dynamic characteristics are documented. Three NASA research pilots evaluated the effectiveness of the system for takeoff and landing maneuvers. A variety of off-nominal system characteristics were studied. The system was judged to be generally beneficial, providing a 2 to 3 point improvement in pilot rating for the tasks used in the evaluations.
Technical Paper

Preliminary Effect of Synthetic Vision Systems Displays to Reduce Low-Visibility Loss of Control and Controlled Flight Into Terrain Accidents

An experimental investigation was conducted to study the effectiveness of Synthetic Vision Systems (SVS) flight displays as a means of eliminating Low Visibility Loss of Control (LVLOC) and Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) accidents by low time general aviation (GA) pilots. A series of basic maneuvers were performed by 18 subject pilots during transition from Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC) to Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC), with continued flight into IMC, employing a fixed-based flight simulator. A total of three display concepts were employed for this evaluation. One display concept, referred to as the Attitude Indicator (AI) replicated instrumentation common in today's General Aviation (GA) aircraft. The second display concept, referred to as the Electronic Attitude Indicator (EAI), featured an enlarged attitude indicator that was more representative of a “glass display” that also included advanced flight symbology, such as a velocity vector.
Technical Paper

The Efficacy of Using Synthetic Vision Terrain-Textured Images to Improve Pilot Situation Awareness

The General Aviation Element of the Aviation Safety Program's Synthetic Vision Systems (SVS) Project is developing technology to eliminate low visibility induced General Aviation (GA) accidents. SVS displays present computer generated 3-dimensional imagery of the surrounding terrain on the Primary Flight Display (PFD) to greatly enhance pilot's situation awareness (SA), reducing or eliminating Controlled Flight into Terrain, as well as Low-Visibility Loss of Control accidents. SVS-conducted research is facilitating development of display concepts that provide the pilot with an unobstructed view of the outside terrain, regardless of weather conditions and time of day. A critical component of SVS displays is the appropriate presentation of terrain to the pilot. An experimental study is being conducted at NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) to explore and quantify the relationship between the realism of the terrain presentation and resulting enhancements of pilot SA and performance.
Technical Paper

Simulation Study of a Commercial Transport Airplane During Stall and Post-Stall Flight

As part of NASA’s Aviation Safety and Security Program, a simulation study of a twin-jet transport aircraft crew training simulation was conducted to address fidelity for upset or loss-of-control flight conditions. Piloted simulation studies were conducted to compare the baseline crew training simulation model with an enhanced aerodynamic model that was developed for high-angle-of-attack conditions. These studies were conducted in a flaps-up configuration and covered the approach-to-stall, stall and post-stall flight regimes. Qualitative pilot comments and preliminary comparison with flight test data indicate that the enhanced model is a significant improvement over the baseline. Some of the significant unrepresentative characteristics that are predicted by the baseline crew training simulation for flight in the post-stall regime have been identified.