Raking in the Air: Rake Airflow Gage Experiment Flies Again on NASA F-15B
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.
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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