Research pilot Dan Murri controls the remotely piloted AirSTAR (Airborne Subscale Transport Aircraft Research) generic transport model from inside a specially equipped control room on wheels. Looking on is flight test director Kevin Cunningham.

During these and other flight tests at Fort Pickett, near Blacktone, Va., the AirSTAR team successfully demonstrated computer software and control systems that may some day prevent airliners from going into steep dives and other extreme conditions.

They're also using the flying model to advance the state of flight dynamic prediction tools; research that could help make training simulators more realistic. Researchers have developed methods that can be used to predict and warn of impending loss of control, detect and characterize damage and validate and improve in-flight scenarios for pilot simulators.

Credit: NASA/Sean Smith

Page Last Updated: August 21st, 2013
Page Editor: NASA Administrator