Author Topic: NASA Administrator to Make X-Plane Announcement at Reagan National Media Event  (Read 38114 times)

Offline kevin-rf

  • Elite Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8515
  • Overlooking the path Mary's little Lamb took..
  • Liked: 1026
  • Likes Given: 235
So one of the other designs that didn't get selected has just been given the X-57 designation.

http://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-hybrid-electric-research-plane-gets-x-number-new-name

NASA Hybrid Electric Research Plane Gets X Number, New Name
With 14 electric motors turning propellers and all of them integrated into a uniquely-designed wing, NASA will test new propulsion technology using an experimental airplane now designated the X-57 and nicknamed “Maxwell.”

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden highlighted the agency’s first X-plane designation in a decade during his keynote speech Friday in Washington at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) annual Aviation and Aeronautics Forum and Exposition, commonly called Aviation 2016.

“With the return of piloted X-planes to NASA’s research capabilities – which is a key part of our 10-year-long New Aviation Horizons initiative – the general aviation-sized X-57 will take the first step in opening a new era of aviation,” Bolden said.

As many as five larger transport-scale X-planes also are planned as part of the initiative. Its goals – like the X-57 – include demonstrating advanced technologies to reduce fuel use, emissions and noise, and thus accelerate their introduction to the marketplace.

The X-57 number designation was assigned by the U.S. Air Force, which manages the history-making process, following a request from NASA. The first X-plane was the X-1, which in 1947 became the first airplane to fly faster than the speed of sound.

“Dozens of X-planes of all shapes, sizes and purposes have since followed – all of them contributing to our stature as the world’s leader in aviation and space technology,” said Jaiwon Shin, associate administrator for NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate. “Planes like the X-57, and the others to come, will help us maintain that role.”

Its original wing and two gas-fueled piston engines will be replaced with a long, skinny wing embedded with 14 electric motors – 12 on the leading edge for take offs and landings, and one larger motor on each wing tip for use while at cruise altitude.

NASA’s aeronautical innovators hope to validate the idea that distributing electric power across a number of motors integrated with an aircraft in this way will result in a five-time reduction in the energy required for a private plane to cruise at 175 mph.

Several other benefits would result as well. “Maxwell” will be powered only by batteries, eliminating carbon emissions and demonstrating how demand would shrink for lead-based aviation fuel still in use by general aviation.

Energy efficiency at cruise altitude using X-57 technology could benefit travelers by reducing flight times, fuel usage, as well as reducing overall operational costs for small aircraft by as much as 40 percent. Typically, to get the best fuel efficiency an airplane has to fly slower than it is able. Electric propulsion essentially eliminates the penalty for cruising at higher speeds.

Finally, as most drivers of hybrid electric cars know, electric motors are more quiet than conventional piston engines. The X-57’s electric propulsion technology is expected to significantly decrease aircraft noise, making it less annoying to the public.

The X-57 research started as part of the NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate's Transformative Aeronautics Program's Convergent Aeronautics Solutions project, with the flight demonstrations being performed as part of the Flight Demonstration Concepts project in the Integrated Aviation Systems Program.

For more information about NASA's electric propulsion research, go to:

http://go.nasa.gov/1S55SPP

-end-
If you're happy and you know it,
It's your med's!

Offline Star One

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8172
  • UK
  • Liked: 1320
  • Likes Given: 168
NASA Aims For Supersonic Airliners As Quiet As Subsonic

Quote
After minimizing sonic boom, reducing airport noise is seen as the next biggest barrier to commercially viable future supersonic transports. As it works toward flying an X-plane in 2019 to demonstrate low-boom design technology, NASA is conducting ground tests of an engine nozzle that could make a small supersonic airliner as quiet as current subsonic transports.

The model tests underway at NASA’s Glenn Research Center will validate design tools and concepts for an integrated propulsion system that would enable a quiet supersonic airliner with the seating capacity of a regional jet to have a cumulative noise level 10 EPNdB below current Chapter 4 limits.

http://m.aviationweek.com/commercial-aviation/nasa-aims-supersonic-airliners-quiet-subsonic

Offline Star One

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8172
  • UK
  • Liked: 1320
  • Likes Given: 168
Aurora D8: Nasa spending $2.9m to revitalise 'double bubble' subsonic twin-hull planes by 2027

Quote
Nasa has decided to invest $2.9m (£2.19m) in order to realise an innovative plane concept invented by MIT and Aurora Flight Sciences in 2008 which could make subsonic planes much more efficient than they are today.

The Aurora D8, which flies at a speed of Mach 0.764 (582 mph, 936 km/h), was originally developed by Aurora Flight Sciences and MIT as part of Nasa's N+3 Program, which provided funding of technologies for new aircraft that would be substantially more efficient to aeroplanes today, that would be put into service in the 2030s.

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/aurora-d8-nasa-spending-2-9m-revitalise-double-bubble-subsonic-twin-hull-planes-by-2027-1581718

Offline Star One

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8172
  • UK
  • Liked: 1320
  • Likes Given: 168
Lockheed Martin HWB-X hybrid wing-body demonstrator.

https://twitter.com/TheWoracle/status/819211718576443395

Offline Star One

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8172
  • UK
  • Liked: 1320
  • Likes Given: 168

Offline Star One

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8172
  • UK
  • Liked: 1320
  • Likes Given: 168
New NASA press release

The QueSST for Quiet

Can you imagine flying from New York to Los Angeles in half the time?

Think about it. Commercial flight over land in a supersonic jet would mean less time in-flight; less time in a cramped seat next to your new, and probably unwanted, best friend; fewer tiny bags of peanuts; and more time at your destination.

Couldn’t Concorde do that? Nope. Concorde, which last flew in 2003, utilized 1950s technology, was only supersonic over the ocean and was deemed too noisy to fly over people. It also burned a lot of fuel and was an expensive ticket. Approximately $15,000 for a round-trip seat in today’s dollars! That makes our wallets hurt.

QueSST experimental aircraft in the 8’ x 6’ wind tunnel
QueSST experimental aircraft in the 8’ x 6’ wind tunnel.
Credits: NASA
Ok, so just build a new Concorde with new technology that saves fuel. Well, it’s really not that easy. Since 1973, supersonic flight over land has been forbidden in the United States because of the noise from sonic boom. A new supersonic commercial airplane needs to beat the boom problem and be efficient as well.

That’s what NASA’s Commercial Supersonic Technology Project is trying to do. After years of work, we think we can bring something new to the table that produces acceptable in-flight noise to communities along flight paths. We are ready to prove it, and that is where the Quiet Supersonic Technology (QueSST) experimental aircraft (X-plane) concept being developed by NASA and partner Lockheed Martin comes in.

Here’s the lowdown on the project:

Although the overall goal is improved quality of life for those on the ground and those in the air, the big step in the near term is to show we can beat the boom. To accomplish this, a unique X-plane, one that uses distinctive shaping – a long nose, highly swept wings, etc. – is being designed. This piloted X-plane will look to prove that sonic booms can be turned into sonic thumps, and eventually help make the case for updating the rule against supersonic flight over land.
What’s QueSST? QueSST is a preliminary design concept of that unique X-plane. It’s not an airliner. The design relies mostly on computer models to ensure all the pieces will come together for a future real airplane.
To verify the aerodynamic performance predictions of the fuselage shape, control surfaces and engine inlet the NASA-Lockheed team has built a scale model of the QueSST design for wind-tunnel testing. NASA Glenn Research Center’s 8’ X 6’ wind tunnel was selected for this testing because of its size and unique capability to test at a large range of speeds.
So, what’s next? NASA will review the test data and complete the preliminary design review. If data is positive and approval is obtained, then a contract for the design, fabrication and testing of a single-seat flight demonstration X-plane could be awarded. Flight testing could begin as early as 2021.

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/the-quesst-for-quiet

Offline Star One

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8172
  • UK
  • Liked: 1320
  • Likes Given: 168
Supersonic X-plane Takes Next Step To Reality
Aviation Daily

DENVER—NASA has issued a draft request for proposals for development of its Quiet Supersonic Transport (QueSST) low-boom flight demonstrator, starting the clock ticking toward first flight of the new X-plane in early ...

http://m.aviationweek.com/commercial-aviation/supersonic-x-plane-takes-next-step-reality
« Last Edit: 06/08/2017 11:21 AM by Star One »

Offline laszlo

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 141
  • Liked: 160
  • Likes Given: 25
Flying in 1/2 the time is less interesting to me than eliminating the traffic jam to the airport, the screwing around with parking and shuttle buses, the endless lines at security, the time to disrobe, get searched and to put all jackets, belts, shoes, change, keys, computers, etc. back together again, the mile long walk to the end of the terminal so I can then catch a train or bus to the actual terminal (and walk a mile to the gate) as well as the actual boarding process. Then at the other end there's deplaning, the interminable trip to baggage claim,  the endless wait for baggage, the rental car counter and the traffic jam leaving the airport. Because of all this BS, we are still averaging DC-3 speeds door to door.

Rather than chasing supersonic flight with quiet sonic booms, wouldn't it be more effective for NASA to be working on an integrated travel infrastructure that eliminates these bottlenecks? As long as getting from home to the aircraft and the aircraft to the final destination is not considered part of air travel, supersonic flight will not speed up the process. The problem these days is not slow planes, it's a kludged-together transport system.

That said, I once had the opportunity to go from San Diego to Chicago at over 700 mph groundspeed (300 mph tailwind, so no sonic boom) and it was an amazing experience to see the ground go by at supersonic speeds. So it definitely would be exciting.

On the other hand, the system bit us at the end. We spent a significant portion of the saved time on the ground in front of the terminal waiting for a gate since we were hours early for our scheduled one.

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31287
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 9570
  • Likes Given: 299

Rather than chasing supersonic flight with quiet sonic booms, wouldn't it be more effective for NASA to be working on an integrated travel infrastructure that eliminates these bottlenecks? As long as getting from home to the aircraft and the aircraft to the final destination is not considered part of air travel, supersonic flight will not speed up the process. The problem these days is not slow planes, it's a kludged-together transport system.

Not NASA's task.  That is in DOT's basket

Offline JasonAW3

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2418
  • Claremore, Ok.
  • Liked: 377
  • Likes Given: 10
Someone correct me if I'm wrong here, but wouldn't reducing or eliminating the sonic boom also improve the efficiency of the aircraft's flying characteristics?

     As I understood it, the boom is the result of the aircraft essentially creating pressure waves behind it from passing the speed of sound.  These pressure waves would tend to act as drag to the aircraft and rob it of velocity.  By limiting or neutralizing the pressure waves, you limit or eliminate the drag caused by the pressure waves.

 
My God!  It's full of universes!

Offline adrianwyard

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 955
  • Liked: 172
  • Likes Given: 220
I'm not an expert, but I don't believe so. The sharp booms are caused because the pressure disturbances caused by a supersonic aircraft tend to align and accumulate as they head to the ground. AIUI the objective here is to create disturbances that don't accumulate - are still spread out in time - when they reach the ground, so 'thump' rather than 'clap' and boom.

In fact, rather than less drag I suppose low-boom shapes could create more drag than boomy shapes.
« Last Edit: 06/08/2017 01:52 PM by adrianwyard »

Offline Star One

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8172
  • UK
  • Liked: 1320
  • Likes Given: 168
NASA completes preliminary design review for supersonic X-plane

Quote
NASA will soon ask companies to bid for a contract to build a supersonic X-plane whose preliminary design review was completed on 23 June by Lockheed Martin.

Quote
It also will serve as a testbed for other technologies. Instead of a forward windscreen, the X-plane pilot will view the aircraft’s forward path from a ultra high-definition video produced by a camera installed in a fuselage-mounted fairing, says David Richwine, who managed the preliminary design project called the Quiet Supersonic Transport (QueSST).

Quote
A newly-released rendering of Lockheed’s preliminary design reveals other features of the highly-swept, delta-wing jet. A row of eight vortex generators are arrayed over the top of the fuselage just aft of the cockpit and a set of moving forward canard surfaces.

Image in the article.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/nasa-completes-preliminary-design-review-for-superso-438822/

Offline Star One

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8172
  • UK
  • Liked: 1320
  • Likes Given: 168
NASA’s Slower X-Plane Pace Could Have An Impact On Industry

Quote
NASA remains committed to its goal of returning to X-plane flight demonstrators, but at a slower pace that has some in industry concerned about their priority and relevance.

When the agency unveiled its New Aviation Horizons initiative in 2016, it planned a sequence of X-plane programs initiated as frequently as 18 months apart. But NASA did not receive the significant boost in aeronautics funding it sought, and its fiscal 2018 budget request is lower still.

The $624 million sought in 2018 is sufficient to launch the first X-plane, the Quiet Supersonic Technology (QueSST) low-boom flight demonstrator planned to fly in 2021. But under current plans the first of a series of Ultra-Efficient Subsonic Technology (UEST) X-planes will not follow it into the skies before 2026.

Quote
The agency is taking a similar approach to the first subsonic X-plane, having begun with contracts to define system requirements for five different configurations. Under current plans, a draft request for proposals (RFP) for the “UEST1” X-plane is to be released in fiscal 2018, says Fay Collier, IASP associate director for flight strategy.

The final RFP is to follow in fiscal 2019, with the intent to competitively select two concepts to take through to preliminary design reviews. One configuration will then be selected for the X-plane. First flight is planned for fiscal 2026, but “we are looking at ways to bring that to the left a bit, somewhere between fiscal 2024 and 2026,” Collier says. A second “UEST2” X-plane would follow five years later.

Quote
The slowing of the X-plane initiative highlights a growing tension between the pace with which industry is evolving and the speed at which NASA can respond. The agency is looking at how it can support the emerging urban air mobility market, and the earliest it could have a dedicated program in place is fiscal 2021, says Jaiwon Shin, associate administrator for aeronautics. This contrasts with Uber’s ambitious plans for experimental flights in 2020 and commercial service by 2023.

http://m.aviationweek.com/commercial-aviation/nasa-s-slower-x-plane-pace-could-have-impact-industry

Offline Star One

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8172
  • UK
  • Liked: 1320
  • Likes Given: 168
Supersonic X-plane's unusual inlet performs well in wind tunnel

Quote
A series of wind tunnel tests revealed the unusual engine inlet positioning for NASA’s supersonic X-plane meets the performance goals for the Lockheed Martin-designed aircraft, a NASA Glenn Research Center aeronautics engineer says.

Quote
A series of wind tunnel tests revealed the unusual engine inlet positioning for NASA’s supersonic X-plane meets the performance goals for the Lockheed Martin-designed aircraft, a NASA Glenn Research Center aeronautics engineer says.

The quiet supersonic transport (QueSST) X-plane demonstrator will begin a series of flight tests in 2020 with an inlet placed atop the fuselage and behind the cockpit, a rare configuration for a supersonic aircraft not seen since early 1950s designs, such as the Douglas X-3 Stiletto and Convair F2Y Sea Dart.

The unusual engine placement is driven by the purpose of the QueSST demonstrator, explains Ray Castner, a NASA Glenn engineer, speaking at the Experimental Aircraft Association’s annual event in Oshkosh, Wisconsin on 25 July.

Quote
“Most supersonic aircraft have the engines near the front on the nose or underneath in the clean air flow,” Castner says. “We now have our engine up top and that’s for boom-shielding. That way, the disturbance from the engine goes up, and does not propagate down to the ground and contributes to boom signature.”

NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, performed 73h of testing of a model of the X-plane in the facililty’s 8ft X 6ft wind tunnel, the first such laboratory tests of such an engine inlet position for a supersonic aircraft of which the agency is aware.

The result satisfied NASA’s engineers that the X-plane’s unique inlet position will work.

“This inlet is actually more efficient than I thought it would be,” Castner says. “It was about 96-98% efficient, so that’s pretty good.”

Quote
Although the positioning was different, the nature of the NASA’s QueSST demonstration allowed Lockheed to use a relatively simple inlet design. NASA plans to have the aircraft take-off, make two passes over a city at Mach 1.4, then land. The design includes a diverterless bump to steer boundary layer airflow away from the inlet, but requires no moving pieces required for supersonic aircraft designed to cruise at higher speeds.

“It’s a [sonic] boom demonstrator. It’s not an inlet demonstrator. There is a higher performing inlet that we could have chosen, but a lot of those inlets have moveable parts,” Castner says.

NASA’s concerns about boundary layer flow over the top of the fuselage with the inlet’s placement drove other design decisions, he adds. After Lockheed completed the preliminary design, NASA released an image of the demonstrator with six vortex generators set between the cockpit canopy and the engine inlet. Lockheed placed the vortex generators there to energise the boundary layer flow and prevent the inlet from ingesting that relatively stagnant air, he says.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/supersonic-x-planes-unusual-inlet-performs-well-in-439849/

Offline Star One

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8172
  • UK
  • Liked: 1320
  • Likes Given: 168
New Supersonic Technology Designed to Reduce Sonic Booms

Quote
Residents along Florida’s Space Coast will soon hear a familiar sound — sonic booms. But instead of announcing a spacecraft’s return from space, they may herald a new era in faster air travel.

NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida is partnering with the agency’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in California, Langley Research Center in Virginia, and Space Florida for a program called Sonic Booms in Atmospheric Turbulence, or SonicBAT II. Starting in mid-August, NASA F-18 jets will take off from the Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) and fly at supersonic speeds while agency researchers on the ground measure the effects of low-altitude turbulence on sonic booms.

Quote
According to John Graves of NASA Flight Operations in Kennedy’s Spaceport Integration and Services, for projects such as SonicBAT, NASA coordinates with Space Florida who manages the facility’s schedule.

“Working with representatives from the Armstrong center, we go through Space Florida to request use of the runway,” he said. “It’s an arrangement that works very well.”

The F-18 will begin flights on Aug. 21, flying two to four times a day over a period of ten days. But the actual test window may be two weeks to allow for weather and other possible delays.

Graves explains that SonicBAT is an unusual test in that it uses a typical military aircraft with its loud sonic boom to help engineers better understand the sounds from future quiet supersonic aircraft

“We’re hoping we can eventually lower sonic booms to a low rumble,” he said. “The goal is to eventually accommodate jets that can fly from New York to Los Angeles in two hours.”

Armstrong started SonicBAT investigations at Edwards Air Force Base last year. This will be the second round of tests.

“Edwards is a hot, dry environment,” he said. “The team at the Armstrong center wants to now try to collect similar data in the hot, humid climate we have here.”

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2017/08/02/supersonic-technology-designed-reduce-sonic-booms/

Offline kevin-rf

  • Elite Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8515
  • Overlooking the path Mary's little Lamb took..
  • Liked: 1026
  • Likes Given: 235
Interesting discussion, but I am a little confused. Why are they saying this is the first time an above the fuselage supersonic inlet has been tested. Does the Mach 2 capable F-107 not count?
If you're happy and you know it,
It's your med's!

Offline StarryKnight

  • Member
  • Posts: 70
  • Virginia
  • Liked: 47
  • Likes Given: 13
Interesting discussion, but I am a little confused. Why are they saying this is the first time an above the fuselage supersonic inlet has been tested. Does the Mach 2 capable F-107 not count?

The article says "a rare configuration for a supersonic aircraft not seen since early 1950s designs, such as the Douglas X-3 Stiletto and Convair F2Y Sea Dart." F-107 was designed in the 1950s. The author gave two examples and just didn't include the F-107 as one of the examples where this feature was employed.
In satellite operations, schedules are governed by the laws of physics and bounded by the limits of technology.

Offline kevin-rf

  • Elite Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8515
  • Overlooking the path Mary's little Lamb took..
  • Liked: 1026
  • Likes Given: 235
must have speed read over that part, my bad..
If you're happy and you know it,
It's your med's!

Offline Star One

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8172
  • UK
  • Liked: 1320
  • Likes Given: 168
New video from NASA Armstrong featuring X planes, Orion parachute test, Dream Chaser amongst many others.


Offline Star One

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8172
  • UK
  • Liked: 1320
  • Likes Given: 168
NASA Moves Electric-Propulsion Components Closer To Reality

Quote
Lightweight megawatt-scale drive systems are essential if electric propulsion is ever to succeed in commercial aircraft. Systems much more powerful than those in cars and far lighter than in ships are required. NASA has launched research into electric motors and power converters at the megawatt level, as these could support the near- or medium-term development of partially turboelectric and hybrid-electric propulsion systems for aircraft up to single-aisle airliner size. Hardware is already ...

http://m.aviationweek.com/commercial-aviation/nasa-moves-electric-propulsion-components-closer-reality

Tags: