NASA Dryden's F-15B Research Testbed aircraft takes off on a RAGE research flight on Aug. 5, 2009. (NASA photo / Tony Landis) NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center recently conducted a flight test of an airflow-measurement device mounted underneath its F-15B research aircraft in the Rake Airflow Gage Experiment, or RAGE. The device is an array called a rake that is composed of conical probes used for measuring airflow parameters – airspeed, angle of attack and sideslip – at nine specific locations underneath the aircraft. The rake was attached to a boom-cylinder test device that was mounted to Dryden's Propulsion Flight Test Fixture six-component force balance carried by the F-15B.
"The project team prepared the test article and aircraft for the flight well, and this was shown in the preliminary quick look of flight data," said Mark Hodge, NASA Dryden's F-15B project manager. "Due to the supersonic speeds, the pilot needed to refuel three times from a U.S. Air Force tanker. The flight went relatively smoothly," Hodge said.
NASA Dryden technician Robert Fleckenstein checks out the rake portion of the Rake Airflow Gage Experiment, or RAGE, mounted underneath NASA Dryden's F-15B Research Testbed aircraft. The aircraft recently flew with the experiment on Aug, 5, 2009. (NASA photo / Tony Landis) The purpose of the flight was to further quantify the flow-field at the nine separate locations that correspond to the aerodynamic interface plane of a planned follow-on experiment called the Channeled Center-body Inlet Experiment, or CCIE. The CCIE research is in support of future Rocket-Based Combined Cycle engine designs being considered. If the RAGE flight data is sufficient, the CCIE will be scheduled for flight-test later in 2009.
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