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PTERA - A new way to experiment.

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posted on Jan, 14 2016 @ 03:23 PM
The Prototype-Technology Evaluation and Research Aircraft or PTERA for short, is a small scale test bed for aerospace experiments developed by Area-I, Inc., of Kennesaw, Georgia. It acts as a stepping stone between wind tunnel testing and full scale experimentation on a manned platform. The PTERA is modular adaptable and remotely piloted eliminating some of the risks usually associated with testing of certain experiments conducted by NASA, defense and civil agencies.
On the exterior it looks like a 11% scale 737 RC plane, but it can be fitted with a number of different type of experiments.

PTERA-BL aircraft are configured to resemble an 11%-scale Boeing 737 with a wingspan of 11.3-feet and 200-pound gross weight. Powered by two 50-pound-thrust JetCat P200 engines, each PTERA has a semi-modular airframe designed to accommodate a variety of configurations and technologies.

Currently it is conducting tests for Boeing and NASA and Area-I on shape adaptive wing technologies and potentially able to fly in parabolic flight patterns to simulate microgravity environments fro cube sats.

Researchers hope to conduct low-cost, low-risk flight evaluations of shape-memory alloys to control aircraft configuration, and possibly parabolic autonomous flight profiles for microgravity payloads such as Cubesats.

P.S. Nice cameo Shadowhawk. If you have anything you'd like to add I'd be much appreciative.

posted on Jan, 14 2016 @ 03:36 PM
11% scale means it won't react the same way as a full scale plane. Do they have to re-calculate wind speed and atmospheric pressure ?

posted on Jan, 14 2016 @ 04:27 PM
Don't you think that there is some sort of new technology, that's why it was built?

posted on Jan, 14 2016 @ 10:08 PM
a reply to: Sammamishman

You already included a link to my Fact Sheet, so I'm not sure how much more I can add. It is basically a low-cost method for testing new technologies. Ideas that seem promising might eventually be scaled up and flown on larger platforms. The main thing about PTERA is that it puts a real airplane into the air. There is only so much that can be done with wind tunnels or computer modeling.

posted on Jan, 15 2016 @ 04:08 AM
Nice little test bed, how big is the gap between Wind Tunnels and Computer Modelling to actual flight testing?

At 11% scale - how much more informed are you by extrapolating results by 89% than computer modelling wind tunnel data??

Also, we have all seen the Avengers aircraft carrier RC plane and various other flying beds, boxes and statues, you are able to do a lot of things at scale you cannot do at 1:1, how do you make this aircraft perform in accordance with larger aircraft physics or does it not matter?

I am interested to know more about it, not trying to "knock" it as I think its awesome.

posted on Jan, 15 2016 @ 07:22 AM
a reply to: Forensick

Even with those flying boxes, there has to be some aerodynamic qualities to it. If it didn't it wouldn't get off the ground at all. I think speed plays a roll as well in over coming some inefficiencies inherent in any design to get something in the air and keeping it there in a controlled manner.
Where I think this test bed fits in is it gives them some base line flight qualities. They can then see what effects different experimental flight control surfaces have on that base line flight characteristic and have a better feel for how it will scale up.
It isn't necessarily 89% off off from full scale either, they were just referencing the size difference between this craft, that was sort of modeled after a 737, to a full scale 737. The experiments that they can put on this craft might be designed for aircraft that are much smaller than a 737, thus getting real world results closer to the intended implementation scale.

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