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NASA Meatball NASA Dryden F-18 Systems Research Aircraft (SRA) banner
F-18 SRA landing F-18 SRA landing

Photo Number: EC96-43623-2
Photo Date: May 1996

Formats: 558x480 JPEG Image (80 KBytes)
1191x1024 JPEG Image (526 KBytes)
2000x1720 JPEG Image (599 KBytes)

Description: A highly modified F-18B Hornet fighter flown by NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center settles towards the runway at Edwards Air Force Base following another research flight. Known as the Systems Research Aircraft (SRA), the two-seat F-18 was engaged in a multi-year project to evaluate a variety of advanced control subsystems and sensors.

Among the more than 20 experiments being researched in the joint NASA/DOD/industry program was the Electrical-Powered Actuation Design (EPAD), which tested prototype aileron actuators that operate independently of the aircraft's hydraulic system. One experimental electrohydrostatic actuator (EHA) generated hydraulic force to move the aileron via a compact electric-driven hydraulic pump incorporated in the actuator itself. Another "smart" actuator used actuator-mounted electronics while a third electro-mechanical actuator electrically operated and moved the aileron mechanically.

Such actuators could eliminate much of the need for complex central hydraulic systems on future aircraft, with signifigant savings in weight and cost. They were also evaluated for use on the planned Reusable Launch Vehicle.

Keywords: F-18; F/A-18; F-18B; Hornet; SRA; Systems Research Aircraft; EPAD; Electrohydrostatic actuator; EHA

Last Modified: February 6, 2002
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