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For Release: Feb. 9, 1998

RELEASE NO. 98-008


New Research:

GETTING A GRIP ON RUNAWAY RUNWAYS NASA and Transport Canada are leading an international effort to help prevent accidents due to aircraft losing traction on icy runways. A research team is in Canada this month proving technology concepts for a better understanding of runway friction, improved tire designs, better chemical treatments for snow and ice, and new types of runway surfaces that minimize bad weather effects. Interviews and video b-roll are available.
Public Affairs Contact: H. Keith Henry (757) 864-6120;
Public Affairs Contact: Angelo Boccanfuso (514) 239-8557/283-0862;

WORKING TOGETHER TO MAKE THE SKIES SAFER.The head of the NASA Aviation Safety Program, headquartered at NASA Langley, will join airline industry representatives at a media briefing Feb. 11 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. NASA, the FAA and aerospace industry officials are working together to make air travel safer for the flying public. Interviews and video b-roll are available.
Public Affairs Contact: Kathy Barnstorff (757) 864-9886;

Ongoing 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 and video b-roll are available.
Public Affairs Contact: Catherine Watson (757) 864-6122;

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 best taxi a future supersonic passenger jet. Interviews and video b-roll are available.
Public Affairs Contact: Catherine Watson (757) 864-6122;

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;

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;


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;

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