NASA Represented at Capital Air Show in Sacramento


By Herman Posada 
Unmanned Aircraft System Pilot
NASA Dryden Flight Research Center

NASA research pilot Mark Pestana and I were invited to represent NASA at the
California Capital Airshow at Mather Airport near Sacramento on Sept. 11 and 12,

After a great flight in NASA Dryden's Beechcraft B-200 King Air to Mather Field,
we were welcomed by our hosts. We met many pilots at a hospitality meeting after
our arrival.

The air show featured a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see four Lockheed P-38 
Lightnings flying in formation. This was truly a sight as there are only seven P-38s
in the world that are still flyable. The air show also featured many flying acts including
the F-22 Raptor and the Patriots Jet Team.

Many aircraft were on display and our aircraft was carefully parked next to a NASA
T-38 from the Johnson Space Center. To the left and right of us were giant aircraft
such as United Parcel Service Boeing 767 and 757 cargo planes and U.S. Air Force
KC-10 and KC-135 tankers. We answered many questions about NASA and the aircraft
we fly at Dryden during the show.

Many female aviators who were invited to celebrate the Centennial of Women in
Aviation attended. I personally got to meet Jessica Cox, an inspirational speaker,
who flies an airplane with her feet. Incredible!

It was an incredible weekend at our state capital!

Boeing and NASA's X-48B highlighted at Green Aviation Summit

By Gray CreechGreen Aviation poster
NASA Dryden public affairs
Sept. 8, 2010
Boeing and NASA’s blended wing body airplane is highlighted again at the 
Green Aviation Summit at NASA's Ames Research Center.
"The X-48B at NASA Dryden points the way, configuration-wise, to better 
design. The best way to affect fuel consumption is better aerodynamics,"
said AIAA president Mark Lewis.
NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden will be speaking Wednesday afternoon. 
Stay tuned…

Green Aviation Summit: a roadmap on how these various technologies fit into the bigger picture

By Gray Creech
NASA Dryden public affairs
Sept. 9, 2010

Jerry Budd, Director of NASA Dryden’s Aeronautics Mission Directorate,
just dropped by, so I asked him what he is getting from this Green Aviation

"It’s been an opportunity to see a broad picture of how the agency is
pursuing green aviation. Between many of the presentations, we’re getting
a background, a roadmap, on how these various technologies are fitting in
with each other for the bigger picture. It’s been very useful in that regard,"
Budd says.

This conference offers an early look at technology development projects
that NASA Dryden may have to support down the road in five to10 years,
so that’s helpful, according to Budd.

Regarding what NASA Dryden brings to the table in all this, Jerry says that
Dryden exists as the system integrator to bring these technologies for
validation in an actual flight environment.

"At the end of the day, you have to figure out whether things actually work
in flight, and if not, why not? Our role is to make this happen."

Green Aviation: charts, numbers and the language of engineers

By Gray Creech
NASA Dryden public affairs

Sept. 9, 2010
Charts, charts, and more charts! Eye charts with tiny numbers! Numbers 
galore! But to engineers, they represent pure, meaningful data!
Suffice it to say, much hard work is already underway to bring the 
NextGen aircraft to life!
Did you know that “turbine anti-vortex film cooling” may help make jet
engines of the future more efficient? Neither did I! Imagine!
Moving on from propulsion concepts to drag reduction and airframe 
technology. Ready for another mouthful?  Try “pultruded rod stitched
efficient unitized structure!”

Green Aviation Summit: radical aircraft ideas under construction!

By Gray Creech
NASA Dryden public affairs

Sept. 9, 2010
Fayette Collier, NASA Aeronautics Mission Directorate’s (ARMD) Subsonic Fixed Wing 
project manager,  says that the hybrid wing body airframe design appears to offer
the noise shielding called for in NASA’s Environmentally Responsible Aviation, or ERA,
project to enable future noise reduction.
Caution: radical aircraft ideas under construction!
Rich Wahls, planning team lead for NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission 
Directorate and project scientist for the directorate's Subsonic Fixed Wing project,
said that next generation (NextGen) aircraft would require a range of technologies
and leveraging. I call it the “holistic airplane.” He spoke of 10-15 percent structural
weight reduction using electron beam free-form fabrication (say that 3-times fast!)
and carbon nanotubes made from nanotube yarn and sheets already manufactured
in the lab.
Dale Van Zandt of NASA’s Glenn Research Center talked about open rotor engine
developments. Open rotors, looking like jet engines with the cowlings off exposing
their fan blades, are very efficient engines. Testing at NASA Glenn is progressing.
Stay tuned…

Tim Risch: X-48 BWB a good idea for reducing noise, fuel burn and emissions

By Gray CreechX48B in flight
NASA Dryden public affairs
Sept. 9, 2010, 9 a.m.

I asked Dryden’s X-48B & C project manager Tim Risch why he thought the blended wing-body airplane got a lot of notice at the Green Aviation Summit.

He said it’s because it’s a good idea. “One of the main reasons is that it has such great promise for revolutionary improvements in the three main areas that the summit is emphasizing (noise, fuel burn reduction, and emissions). Also, the X-48 has strong government and industry participation, and the concept has been demonstrated in flight, which lends credibility to the concept.”

NASA's Green Aviation Summit -– being environmentally responsible

By Gray Creech
NASA Dryden public affairs
Sept. 8, 2010, 8:45 a.m.
By way of further introduction,this two-day seminar will explore the depth and breadth of the NASA AeronauticsResearch Mission Directorate¹s work in environmentally responsible aviation.The challenges for green aviation will be addressed, along with some of thegroundbreaking solutions being developed by NASA. 
The idea is to inform participants from government, industry, and academia of 
specific research and development activities within NASA Aeronautics that
are directed at mitigating the environmental impact of aviation.
Also on tap are stimulating exchanges of concepts and ideas with some of the 
key stakeholders in green aviation. The workshop will feature detailed technical
presentations and panel discussions on the current state of the art and the
direction for near-and far-term research and development.
To top it off, the summit is slated to conclude with an aviation industry leaders'
panel discussion that will provide a view of their emerging technologies.
On with the show…

Gray Creech blogs from NASA's Green Aviation Summit

(Editor's Note – NASA'sAeronautics Research Mission Directorate is holding a two-day Green AviationSummit conference Sept. 8-9 at NASA's Ames Research Center in NorthernCalifornia. Gray Creech of NASA Dryden Flight Research Center's public affairsstaff is attending the summit, and will be periodically blogging on thehighlights of the event as they proceed. His first blog is posted below.)
By Gray Creech
NASA Dryden public affairs
Sept. 8, 2010, 8:15 a.m. PDT

Welcome to the 2010 NASA Aeronautics Research Mission
Directorate’s Green Aviation Summit, a proverbial peek-behind-the-
curtain for a look at the future of green aviation!

We’re “summiting” here at NASA’s Ames Research Center in
Mountain View, Calif.,  just a stone’s throw from the southern end of
San Francisco Bay, in the heart  of Silicon Valley. Bear with me as I
get our blog going. I could use a cup ‘o java to help bring coherence
to the conversation…

Let me introduce “green aviation” -- It’s more than “eco-friendly”
flight; it’s a compilation of radical ideas about the next generation of
airplanes making  less noise, producing less harmful emissions, and
achieving better fuel economy. 

Imagine standing at the end of an airport runway as a jetliner swoops
low, and still being able to hear someone next to you whisper. Imagine
these quieter planes being less polluting because of leaner combustion
technologies and cleaner fuels. And imagine these aircraft consuming
fuel in a miserly fashion, due to better aerodynamics and lightweight
composite construction, etc. 

I’ll keep you posted the next two days as the Summit unfolds – after I
get that first cup of coffee! I’ll be back soon…

Green Aviation Summit — Jaiwon Shin gives ARMD overview

By Gray Creech
NASA Dryden public affairs
Sept. 8, 2010, 9:05 a.m.

Welcomes and intros are done, compliments of NASA Ames’ director Pete Worden. First speaker up was Dr. Jaiwon Shin, NASA’s Associate Administrator for Aeronautics Research. He gave an overview of the NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate, or ARMD for short. He then described the success and utility of the X-48B Blended Wing Body research aircraft being flown at NASA Dryden.
BTW, I’m not alone; there are several fellow NASA Dryden Flight Research Center folks attending. We’ll see if we can’t chat with some of them later during breaks.

AIAA chief: NASA focusing on improved propulsion, aerodynamics, fuels

By Gray Creech
NASA Dryden public affairs
Sept. 8, 2010, 10:10 am

According to NASA Green Aviation Summit speaker Dr. MarkLewis, AIAA President, aircraft design has been driven byperformance since thebeginning, when the U.S. Army contracted with the Wright brothers for the firstmilitary aircraft. This is still the case. Now, NASA Aeronautics is looking tochange that by focusing on improved propulsion solutions, alternate fuels,advanced aerodynamic configurations, and even conservation, i.e., flying lessin order to conserve fuel.