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For Release: July 31, 1997

Shenetha Wilburn
(757) 864-7060

RELEASE NO. 97-098

Director of High-Speed Research Program To Speak August 5

The post-war era has given rise to increased competition among the aircraft manufacturers of the world. To capture this market and preserve the United States leadership in commercial aviation, the High-Speed Research program is being conducted by NASA.

On Tuesday, Aug. 5, at 2 p.m. at the NASA Langley H.J.E. Reid Conference Center, Wallace Sawyer, Langley's director of the high-speed research program, will discuss the importance of High-Speed Civil Transport and the program's challenges and major accomplishments. A media briefing with Sawyer will take place at 1 p.m. in the Reid Center.

As envisioned, a High-Speed Civil Transport would carry 300 passengers 2.4 times the speed of sound in an airplane as long as a football field. According to Sawyer, the development of a competitive supersonic transport with existing subsonic transports will capture a significant portion of the international market.

Sawyer has served as the director of the High-Speed research program since July 1994 and oversees NASA's focused commercial high-speed research efforts. Sawyer began his career at Langley in 1965 as an aerospace engineer. He has authored and co-authored over 45 technical publications and has contributed to a technical textbook.

Sawyer received a bachelor of arts degree in physics and mathematics from Elon College in North Carolina and pursued graduate studies in physics at the College of William and Mary and engineering management at George Washington University. He is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

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