Remotely Piloted PTERA Bridges Gap Between Wind-Tunnel And Crewed Flight Testing

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Remotely Piloted PTERA Bridges Gap Between Wind-Tunnel And Crewed Flight Testing

Remotely Piloted PTERA Bridges Gap Between Wind-Tunnel And Crewed Flight Testing

Aerospace contrast can be dear and time immoderate though a new modular, subscale remotely piloted aircraft offers NASA researchers some-more affordable options for building a far-reaching operation of slicing corner aviation and space technologies. The Prototype-Technology Evaluation and Research Aircraft (PTERA), grown by Area-I, Inc., of Kennesaw, Georgia, is an intensely versatile and high-quality, nonetheless inexpensive, drifting laboratory bridging a opening between breeze tunnels and crewed moody testing.

The ability to change PTERA’s pattern allows cost-effective contrast of radical designs that competence differently be too dangerous or costly to exam with a full-scale, crewed aircraft. PTERA’s capabilities make it a ideal height to support aeronautics and space investigate within NASA, defense, industry, and academia.

PTERA was primarily grown to moody exam dissemination control record for a cruise-efficient short-takeoff-and-landing airliner underneath a NASA Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program. This pattern was usually belligerent tested, though was subsequently mutated for a accumulation of aeronautics investigate projects. The mutated vehicle, infrequently called PTERA-BL, was initial moody tested in 2012 during Middle Georgia State University’s Eastman Campus underneath a Phase 1 SBIR contract.

NASA Armstrong’s PTERA remotely piloted investigate aircraft done a initial moody on Oct 22, 2015. Credits: NASA Photo / Jim Ross

NASA Armstrong’s PTERA remotely piloted investigate aircraft done a initial moody on Oct 22, 2015.
Credits: NASA Photo / Jim Ross

Flight contrast underneath a Phase 2 SBIR agreement enclosed moody maneuvers used to rise a PTERA simulation. With additional appropriation from a State of Georgia Center for Aerospace Innovation, a agreement also supposing for construction of dual new PTERA-BL airframes, one for a company’s use and a other to be delivered to NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center, Edwards, California.

PTERA-BL aircraft are configured to resemble an 11%-scale Boeing 737 with a wingspan of 11.3-feet and 200-pound sum weight. Powered by dual 50-pound-thrust JetCat P200 engines, any PTERA has a semi-modular airframe designed to accommodate a accumulation of configurations and technologies.

Flight-testing in Jul 2013 during Heart of Georgia Regional Airport demonstrated simple airworthiness and doing qualities, and certified PTERA’s utility as a investigate exam bed to support experiments in aerodynamic efficiency, aeroelasticity, moody controls, car heath management, and acoustics.In Oct 2014, Area-I delivered a PTERA to Armstrong, where it was flown for a initial time only one year after on Oct 22, 2015. Researchers wish to control low-cost, low-risk moody evaluations of shape-memory alloys to control aircraft configuration, and presumably parabolic unconstrained moody profiles for microgravity payloads such as Cubesats.

PTERA baseline configuration. Credits: Area-I, Inc., Artist Concept

PTERA baseline configuration.
Credits: Area-I, Inc., Artist Concept

Source: NASA