Chris Rink
757-864-6786, 757-344-7711
NASA Talk Pursues the Dream of Unlimited Flight Time
HAMPTON, Va. -- What if an aircraft could take off and stay in flight -- forever?

On Tuesday, Nov. 1, at NASA's Langley Research Center here, aerospace engineer Craig Nickol will present, "Fly Forever: Pursuing the Dream of Indefinite Endurance Flight," at 2 p.m. in the Reid Conference Center. Nickol will discuss current and future projects where engineers are designing aircraft that use sustainable or renewable energy for virtually unlimited flight.

Nickol will be available to answer questions from the media during a news briefing at 1:15 p.m. that day. Media who wish to do so should contact Chris Rink at 757-864-6786, or by e-mail at, by noon on the day of the talk for credentials and entry to the center.

That same evening at 7:30, Nickol will present a similar talk for the general public at the Virginia Air & Space Center in downtown Hampton. The presentation is free and no reservations are required.

Nickol will describe the development of solar powered aircraft including the current pursuit of a solar powered High Altitude Long Endurance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (HALE UAV) with an energy storage system for multi-year flight. With recent advances in solar cell and regenerative fuel cell performance, a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) project called Vulture is now investing $89 million in sustainable technology. Nickol will discuss the current status and future plans for the Vulture.

An aerospace engineer in the Systems Analysis and Concepts Directorate at NASA Langley, Nickol supports the Vehicle Systems Program by leading an analysis of alternatives study of HALE UAV concepts. He is currently working on research for both the Environmentally Responsible Aviation project and DARPA's Vulture project.

Before to coming to NASA in 2003, Nickol spent nine years at the Naval Air Systems Command, in the advanced design branch and the maritime patrol program office. Nickol has a Bachelor of Science in aerospace engineering from Case Western Reserve University and a Master of Science in aerospace engineering from the University of Virginia.

For more information about NASA Langley's Colloquium and Sigma Series Lectures, visit:

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