Dryden's project teams have successfully accomplished many of the nation's most complex flight research projects. The information here demonstrates how the Center has created and refined innovative flight research techniques that encompass all phases of flight projects – from highly developed design through development, fabrication, and operations processes. Through this ongoing refinement Dryden continues to expand its world-class capabilities, which include an expert work force, natural infrastructure, unique facilities and aircraft, flexible project management, and a proven operating system.
Flight Research, Test, and Development:
As noted in Dryden's Strategic Plan, the mission elements are the most visible here: to perform flight research and technology integration to revolutionize aviation and pioneer aerospace technology; validate space exploration concepts; conduct airborne remote sensing and science missions; and support operations of the Space Shuttle and International Space Station – for NASA and the nation.
Facilities, Resources, and Assets:
These attributes allow Dryden employees the unique and highly specialized capabilities needed to conduct flight research programs unmatched anywhere in the world:
Flight Loads Laboratory; Research Aircraft Integration Facility; Flight Simulation Laboratory; Western Aeronautical Test Range; Structural Fabrication and Repair Facility; Subscale Flight Research Facility; Flow Visualization Facility; Avionics Laboratory; Mission Control Center; Central Computing Facility; Engine Shop
Access to Edwards Air Force Base facilities; AERO Institute; Air Force Flight Test Center Alliance; NASA Fabrication Alliance
Research and support aircraft; Rogers Dry Lakebed; hangar space; ramp space; special use airspace, concrete and hard surface runways
Dryden's skill mix reflects the Center's desire to improve existing systems and processes. Each employee uses leadership, management, and technical roles to produce superior results through successful integration of technical and functional disciplines.
Research Aircraft Integration Facility (RAIF)
The Research Aircraft Integration Facility (RAIF) and its simulation capabilities support the most advanced aerospace research through all phases of vehicle design, development, systems integration, verification, validation, and flight test.
+View the RAIF Fact Sheet
Flight Loads Laboratory (FLL)
The Flight Loads Laboratory (FLL) performs combined mechanical load and thermal tests of structural components and complete flight vehicles, and calibrates and evaluates flight loads instrumentation under the conditions expected in flight.
Flight Simulation Laboratory
The 11 simulation labs at Dryden are configurable to various security levels. Each lab contains a gateway computer between the simulation control room network and the external network to restrict unauthorized access to sensitive simulation data.
The Western Aeronautical Test Range (WATR) supports atmospheric flight operations and low earth orbiting missions by supplying a comprehensive set of resources for the control and monitoring of all flight activities, real-time acquisition and reduction of research data, and effective communication of information to flight and ground crews.
+ View the WATR Fact Sheet