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For Release: Jan. 16, 1998

RELEASE NO. 98-003

NASA LANGLEY STORY OPPORTUNITIES - JANUARY 1998

New Research:

BUILDING A SUPERSONIC PASSENGER JET. Using a new material developed at NASA Langley (called PETI-5), researchers at the Boeing Co. in St. Louis have fabricated panels that may one day be used to build a U.S. supersonic passenger jet. The 40 inch by 80 inch panels are being tested in a NASA Langley laboratory. Interviews, photos and video b-roll are available.
Public Affairs Contact: Michael Finneran (757) 864-6121; m.p.finnerann@larc.nasa.gov

HONEY, YOU MISSED OUR EXIT.When pilots taxi America's future supersonic passenger jet, they will do so sitting nearly 60 feet in front of the forward landing gear. To better understand any difficulties this distance may cause in steering the jet on the ground, a full-scale ground test vehicle has been built by NASA's High-Speed Research (HSR) Program. The Surface Operations Research/Evaluation Vehicle is being used to study how pilots can learn to taxi a future supersonic passenger jet, and what sort of visual aids a pilot would need to get safely from the runway to the gate, and back again. Interviews and video b-roll are available.
Public Affairs Contact: Michael Finneran (757) 864-6121; m.p.finneran@larc.nasa.gov

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Ongoing Research:

I'VE LOOKED AT CLOUDS FROM BOTH SIDES NOW. On average, at any one time more than 50 percent of the Earth is covered by clouds. Scientists need to know how clouds trap or reflect energy, and how much and how often they do it, in order to understand what effects clouds may have on our planet's climate. The Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) instrument, launched aboard the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission observatory on Nov. 27, has begun to provide long-term global data on the Earth's clouds and their effects on the Earth's energy budget. Interviews, facts sheets, video b-roll and animation are available.
Public Affairs Contact: Catherine Watson (757) 864-6122; c.e.watson@larc.nasa.gov

TESTING FUTURE SPACE VEHICLES.Wind tunnel testing of three future space vehicles (the X-33, X-34 and X-38) is ongoing at NASA Langley. Models of various sizes and materials are undergoing testing for ground effects, aerodynamic and aerothermodynamic properties, and dynamic stability in several wind tunnels. Interviews and photo/video opportunities are available.
Public Affairs Contact: Ann Gaudreaux at (757) 864-8150, a.c.gaudreaux@larc.nasa.gov

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Coming Research:

March:Cockpit display research for a future supersonic passenger jet begins. Researchers will use several NASA Langley simulators to help design the futuristic jet's cockpit - a cockpit that will have no forward facing windows.
Public Affairs Contact: Catherine Watson (757) 864-6122; c.e.watson@larc.nasa.gov

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