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NASA Dryden Past Projects: Demonstrator 2 (D-2)
November 3, 2009

ERAST Demonstrator D-2 in flightERAST Demonstrator (D-2) in flight. As part of the ERAST (Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology) program, the D-2 was designed to test technologies that could lead to aircraft capable of long-duration flight (12 to 72 hours) at high-altitude while carrying science payloads. NASA's role in ERAST was primarily as a facilitator for the development of new technology, drawing together firms interested in building and testing new concepts in this field. Key development areas included lightweight structures, science payload integration, engine development, and flight-control systems. The D-2 was built by Scaled Composites and first flown on 23 August 1994. In late 1996, NASA demonstrated over-the-horizon communication capabilities with the D-2 using the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRS) to command and control the aircraft.


Owner (BMDO/DOE Transferring to NASA)
Manufacturer Scaled Composites Inc.
Fuselage Length 25 ft.
Wingspan 66 ft.
Wing Area 187.9 ft.
Aspect Ratio 20
Take-off Weight 1880 lb
Wing loading 10.0 lb/sq. ft.
Payload 75 lb
Altitude 65,000 ft.
Mission Duration 4-8 hrs.
Structure Carbon over nomEx HONEYCOMB and foam
Engine Rotax 912 horizontally opposed four cylinder modified to operate with twin turbocharging in series with intercooler
Engine Horsepower 100 Horsepower
Propeller 4.27 meter diameter (14 ft.)


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