Don Nolan-Proxmire Headquarters, Washington, DC (Phone: 202/358-1983

)

March 27, 1996

J. D. Hunley Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, CA (Phone: 805/258-3447) RELEASE: 96-59 NASA TESTS NEW NOZZLE TO IMPROVE PERFORMANCE NASA has begun flight testing of a new thrust-vectoring concept on an F-15 research aircraft to improve performance and aircraft control. NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, CA, expects to fly its F-15 research aircraft equipped with thrust-vectoring nozzles approximately 100 hours over the next two years. The new concept should lead to significant increases in performance of both civil and military aircraft flying at subsonic and supersonic speeds. The twin-engine F-15 is equipped with new Pratt & Whitney nozzles that can turn up to 20 degrees in any direction, giving the aircraft thrust control in the pitch (up and down) and yaw (left and right) directions. This deflected (vectored) thrust can be used to reduce drag and increase fuel economy or range as compared with conventional aerodynamic controls, which increase the retarding forces (drag) acting upon the aircraft when used for trim. Another important feature is the nozzles' productionoriented design, which would require minimal changes to be incorporated into current or future aircraft. Applications of the technology range from both existing and prospective military fighters to the High Speed Civil Transport, a supersonic airliner in its conceptual stages that would carry 300 passengers at 2.4 times the speed of sound. The new nozzles, installed on Dryden's F-15 Advanced

Controls Technology for Integrated Vehicles (ACTIVE) aircraft, underwent ground testing at Edwards on the Air Force Flight Test Center's universal horizontal thrust stand in early November, demonstrating that all systems essential for safe operation of the aircraft are functioning correctly. -more-2On subsequent flights, Dryden researchers expect to fly at speeds up to Mach 1.85 (1.85 times the speed of sound) and at angles of attack up to 30 degrees. "Angle of attack" is a term used to describe the relationship between the aircraft's body/wings and its actual flight path. For NASA's flight research, each nozzle is mounted to one of the F-15 ACTIVE's two F100-PW-229 engines, which have modified fan duct cases to provide the additional strength required to withstand the vectoring forces. Installation of the nozzles also required modifications to the aircraft's rear fuselage and main engine mounts. "This program is an example of government and industry cooperating to bring an important technology to maturity," said Dryden project manager, Don Gatlin. The research program is the product of a collaborative effort by NASA, the Air Force's Wright Laboratory, Pratt & Whitney, and McDonnell Douglas Aerospace. EDITOR'S NOTE: Images to illustrate this release are available for news media representatives by calling 202/3581900. Still photography is available to support this release. Photos are also available on the Internet under "NASA Dryden Research Aircraft PHOTO ARCHIVE, Dryden News and Feature Photos, URL: http://www.dfrc.nasa.gov/PhotoServer/photoServer.html Photos in support of this release: 96-HC-140 Color: B&W: 96-H-140

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