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Marny Skora
(Phone 757/864-3315, 757/344-6111 mobile)
RELEASE : 05-055
Unique NASA High-Speed Carriage Demonstration - And You're Invited

No matter whether you travel by air or interstate highway system, your travels are substantially safer thanks to a facility at NASA's Langley Research Center, Hampton.

Originally developed in the 1950s to test aircraft tires and brakes, NASA's Aircraft Landing Dynamics Facility has also tested Shuttle tires and proven that grooves cut into runways and highways help guard against hydroplaning.

Unique in the world and celebrating its fiftieth anniversary, the facility consists of a 2,800-ft. track and a 54-ton carriage on which a test article - aircraft tire, shuttle tire, or landing gear -- is attached. A powerful water-jet nozzle propels the carriage up to the desired test speed on the mock landing strip in just nine seconds!

Media representatives and the general public are invited to watch the high-speed test carriage, carrying 727 airplane landing gear and propelled by over 2 million pounds of water, travel down the track at speeds of 173 mph. Demonstrations are scheduled for 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. Saturday, September 17.

For five decades, the Aircraft Landing Dynamics Facility has provided an affordable way to perform safety testing. In addition, it has been possible to detect problems in an environment that eliminates the risk of damage to an aircraft or injury to a pilot.

NASA Langley Research Center's main gate on Commander Shepard Blvd. will open at 9 a.m. for the celebration. Food and NASA merchandise will be available for purchase between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

The rain date is Saturday, September 24. Please visit the NASA Langley website at for the status of the demonstration.


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