VIRGINIA AIR AND SPACE CENTER TO DEDICATE NASA F-18 RESEARCH JET
June 5, 2003
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A former NASA research aircraft used at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center on Edwards AFB to improve the safety and maneuverability of modern military fighters in combat situations will now make its home in a Virginia aviation museum.
The F-18 HARV or High Alpha Research Vehicle has now been moved into its permanent location within the Virginia Air & Space Center in Hampton, Va.
The F-18 HARV is on loan from NASA Dryden. It is one of several aircraft the Virginia Air & Space Center will feature as part of its new Adventures in Flight Gallery, scheduled to open in October.
NASA researchers, including many from Dryden, used the former fighter jet between 1987 and 1996 to study airflow, aircraft control, and engine performance at high angles of attack, the very extreme flight attitudes of aircraft in air combat situations.
Flight research with the HARV increased the understanding of flight at high angles of attack. That has helped makers of U.S fighter jets design features that will make fighters safer to fly, expanding into parts of the flight envelope pilots previously had to avoid.
During the second phase of flight research with the F-18 HARV, NASA researchers installed a thrust-vectoring system at the end of the jet engine's exhaust at the back of the airplane. The spoon-shaped paddles can be moved to direct engine exhaust flow to provide much greater pitch and yaw control. This gave better maneuverability and control at high-angles of attack. A thrust vectoring system is now included on the country's newest jet fighter, the F-22.
The F-18 HARV flew more than 385 research flights during its nine years at Dryden.
The Virginia Air & Space Center is the visitor center for NASA Langley Research Center and Langley Air Force Base.
For more information on the F-18 HARV on the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center Website, please check the Internet at: /centers/dfrc/Research/HARV/index.html
For more information on NASA's Langley Research Center please check the Internet at: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/larc
For more information on The Virginia Air & Space Center please check the Internet at: http://www.vasc.org
Note to Editors: Interview opportunities are available with former F-18 HARV project personnel at NASA Dryden by calling (661) 276-2662.
Media are invited to the official dedication ceremony of the aircraft at the Air & Space Center at 600 Settler's Landing Rd., Hampton Va on Tuesday, June 10 at 11:30 a.m. Researchers who worked with the jet and a video news release of the F-18 HARV in flight will be available.
F-18 HARV photographs are available on the Internet at /centers/dfrc/Gallery/Photo/F-18HARV/index.html
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