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NASA Meatball NASA Dryden F-18 Systems Research Aircraft (SRA) banner
F-18 SRA closeup of nose cap showing new flush air data system sensor holes F-18 SRA closeup of nose cap showing new flush air data system sensor holes

Photo Number: EC97-43936-9
Photo Date: Mar 1997

Formats: 362x480 JPEG Image (37 KBytes)
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2400x3180 JPEG Image (8,426 KBytes)

Description: Small numbers on the nose cap of this F-18 Systems Research Aircraft at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, California, show the locations of 11 tiny holes, which were an integral part of a new air data system installed on the aircraft. The Real-Time Flush Air Data Sensing system measured the speed and direction of the airflow past the aircraft and its altitude, similar to standard air data systems. It differed from those systems by incorporating flush-mounted pressure taps, miniature transducers and an advanced research computer which gave the pilot more accurate information than systems employing external probes provide.

Stephen A. Whitmore of Dryden's Aerodynamics Branch won NASA's Space Act Award for his development of the Real-Time Flush Air Data Sensing system. The award honors projects which are scientifically or technologically significant to the aeronautics and space community.

Developed by Dryden researchers in cooperation with Honeywell's Research and Technology Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, the system was flight tested on Dryden's Systems Research Aircraft (SRA), and was then used as a precise reference for other air data systems later evaluated on the modified F-18.

Keywords: F-18; F/A-18; SRA; Systems Research Aircraft; RTFADS; Real-Time Flush Air Data Sensing; Stephen Whitmore; Space Act Award

Last Modified: February 6, 2002
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