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Release No. 96-024

For Release: Immediately

NASA Langley Story Opportunities - April

Flying Cars to Pilotless Airplanes: Pilotless airplanes communicating with each other in the air and on the ground, cars flying down the freeway, literally. That's the future of aviation according to Steve Crow, an engineering professor at the University of Arizona. Crow will discuss his view of the future of aviation in the information age at 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 9 at the NASA Langley H.J.E. Reid Conference Center, Hampton, Va. Interviews are available.

PUBLIC AFFAIRS CONTACT: Catherine E. Watson (804) 864-6122

NASA Langley to License Composite Piston Technology. NASA Langley is looking for U.S. companies interested in licensing a promising new material system for making high-performance pistons and other products. Called carbon-carbon, the material is made of carbonized filaments and resin. The most likely first application for the still-expensive material is in high-temperature, high-performance racing engines. Later applications could take advantage of its light weight and potential for reducing harmful emissions in snowmobiles, lawn mowers and diesel engines. Interviews and photos are available.

PUBLIC AFFAIRS CONTACT: Keith Henry (804) 864-6120

Winter Runway Tests to Reduce Airport Congestion. A new study of snow- and ice-covered aircraft runways is expected to result in safer ground operations at airports around the world - during takeoff, landing and taxiing. An expected bonus is reduced airport congestion during bad weather. The 5-year government/industry study is being led by NASA Langley Research Center and Transport Canada. It will include braking tests with aircraft and ground vehicles in the U.S. and Canada. Interviews, photos and video b-roll are available.

PUBLIC AFFAIRS CONTACT: Keith Henry (804) 864-6120

New Superplastic Mimics Metal, Ceramic. NASA Langley researchers have invented a superplastic that is beginning to see use in nuclear power plants and has potential applications that could make it a $1 billion product. LaRC-SI is a thermoplastic that can withstand temperatures and conditions that would degrade or destroy conventional plastics. LaRC-SI will be applied to metal and concrete infrastructure components of Virginia Power's two nuclear stations, Surry and North Anna, to reduce maintenance costs. Interviews, fact sheets, photos and video b-roll are available.

PUBLIC AFFAIRS CONTACT: Michael Finneran (804) 864-6121


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