Aerion Corporation's test article used in the initial Supersonic Boundary Layer Transition flight test project in 2010 is shown attached to the Centerline Instrumented Pylon slung beneath NASA's F-15B research aircraft. (NASA / Tony Landis) › View Larger Image
Second Set of SBLT Tests Planned on NASA's F-15B
Aerion Corporation is continuing its partnership with NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center with a scheduled second round of Supersonic Boundary Layer Transition (SBLT) research flights slated for this summer on NASA Dryden's F-15B Research Test Bed aircraft.
The flights gather baseline data on a composite flat plate designed to calibrate instrumentation designed to investigate the extent and stability of natural laminar or smooth flow at supersonic speeds over a special test airfoil section during the flights. Additionally, engineers will use the data to determine the effect of airfoil manufacturing tolerances on laminar airflow.
In 2010, the company flew an SBLT flat plate experiment on Dryden's F-15B to gather airflow data that is aiding company engineers in preparing a representative airfoil shape for the upcoming flights.
In addition to flying the test article on its supersonic F-15B, NASA Dryden is providing the required ground and flight support for the effort, which is being accomplished through a Space Act Agreement between the two partners. NASA is sharing in the resulting data from the flights, which take the experiment to speeds up to Mach 2, or twice the speed of sound.
Aerion, headquartered in Reno, Nev., built the flight test article.
For more, see NASA Supersonic Flight Tests
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Gray Creech, Public Affairs
NASA Dryden Flight Research Center