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NASA wants full scale demo craft....but which one?

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posted on Feb, 2 2016 @ 12:17 PM
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NASA is expected to receive a funding boost and is looking to spend some of that money on building a full scale demonstrator of some type. Currently they are looking at a low boom, hybrid wing body, blended wing body, a truss braced wing demonstrator or NASA's D8 (Double Bubble) concept.
The low boom and the hybrid wing body concepts have the most traction to actually make it to full scale. The low boom concept is the most mature (like we didn't know that
) and the AFRL and Congress will be wanting a transport replacement for the C-17 sometime in the not too distant future as well.



With an increase of $100 million in fiscal 2015 and almost $70 million in 2016, NASA’s aeronautics leadership is hoping that somewhere around $650 million a year is the new baseline for its civil aviation research. Whether that belief prevails will not be known until the Obama administration presents its fiscal 2017 budget request on Feb. 9, but senior managers say funding at that level would provide room for a manned or optionally piloted commercial-transport X-plane flight demonstrator.

NASA has wanted to launch a supersonic demo for the past few years; its computational analyses, wind-tunnel experiments and surrogate flight tests have reached the stage where the only appropriate next step is large-scale public-response testing to validate that shaped low-boom signatures are acceptable. The FAA and other regulators have made clear such a demonstration is required if the ban of civil supersonic flight over land is to be lifted.




Lockheed has funding from AFRL to study an HWB flight demonstrator and a NASA contract to look at a commercial freighter version of the configuration. The concept combines a blended wing and forebody for aerodynamic and structural efficiency with a conventional aft fuselage and tail for compatibility with current airlift missions, including airdrop. The aircraft is designed to carry all of the outsize cargo now airlifted by the Lockheed C-5 while burning 70% less fuel than the Boeing C-17.












Aviation Week Article




posted on Feb, 2 2016 @ 12:33 PM
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the 1st one is the most aesthetically pleasing!

I'm curious though why NASA's vision for future of flight involves a prop drive plane ? Where's our magnetic levitation ion drive aircraft ?



posted on Feb, 2 2016 @ 12:55 PM
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a reply to: Discotech

I think they are emphasizing the aeronautics rather than the space now.

It doesn't look very space worthy.



posted on Feb, 2 2016 @ 12:59 PM
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a reply to: greencmp

A lot of the major advances in aviation have gotten significant boosts from NASA. They've even helped the NTSB with accident investigations when they had theories that needed testing. That would be the Aeronautics portion of the name.
edit on 2/2/2016 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 2 2016 @ 01:03 PM
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a reply to: Sammamishman



NASA wants full scale demo craft....but which one?


To be sure, NASA ain't what it usetahwas but, they have been wishing for a vehicle that could launch like a plane, obtain orbit and reenter to land like a plane, for decades.

There's an old movie (one of my favs), called 'The Right Stuff' which basically begins with the concept of winged vehicles first reaching the sound barrier but then well beyond. Then, it happened; the former Soviet Union launched Sputnik and then shortly thereafter, sent the first human into space... on top of a rocket.

The winged-vehicle testing phase basically wrapped up.

Maybe they've turned back to pick up where they left off?



posted on Feb, 2 2016 @ 01:03 PM
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originally posted by: Discotech
the 1st one is the most aesthetically pleasing!

I'm curious though why NASA's vision for future of flight involves a prop drive plane ? Where's our magnetic levitation ion drive aircraft ?


We also used to visit the moon in the 60's, so I'm just not sure they know which direction they're going sometimes.



posted on Feb, 2 2016 @ 01:04 PM
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a reply to: Discotech

Turboprop aircraft are, in some cases, more efficient than jets. There was a study done in the 80s that showed they could build a quiet, ultra efficient prop design that was almost as fast as jets of the day, and significantly more efficient.



posted on Feb, 2 2016 @ 01:08 PM
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a reply to: redoubt

It's the National Aeronautic and Space Administration. Everyone forgets that first A. Part of the mandate is working with aircraft to make them more efficient, and develop new Aviation related technologies.



posted on Feb, 2 2016 @ 01:11 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: redoubt

It's the National Aeronautic and Space Administration. Everyone forgets that first A. Part of the mandate is working with aircraft to make them more efficient, and develop new Aviation related technologies.


Well, I hope they take it and make it this time.



posted on Feb, 2 2016 @ 01:35 PM
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"...surrogate flight tests have reached the stage where the only appropriate next step is large-scale public-response testing to validate that shaped low-boom signatures are acceptable." What are they using as the surrogate in flight tests?



posted on Feb, 2 2016 @ 01:46 PM
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a reply to: Badgermole42

Scale models, and wind tunnel tests for new airframes. Usually one of their test fleet for avionics changes.



posted on Feb, 2 2016 @ 02:33 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

In terms of advancement, how far has the Jet engine come along in relation to the Prop engine ?

If they're making prop engines that are nearly fast and more efficient it sounds like the Jet engine isn't that advanced yet ?



posted on Feb, 2 2016 @ 03:07 PM
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a reply to: Discotech

Apples and oranges. You're not going to break the sound barrier with a prop engine (which is essentially a jet engine turning a propeller when talking about commercial aircraft). Each have their own advantages and dis-advantages depending on what they're used for.
Jet engines have come a long way since their advent in terms of thrust, efficiency and durability. Just look at what today's jet planes can achieve over what the first jet aircraft could do.
edit on 2-2-2016 by Sammamishman because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 2 2016 @ 03:45 PM
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originally posted by: Discotech
a reply to: Zaphod58

In terms of advancement, how far has the Jet engine come along in relation to the Prop engine ?

If they're making prop engines that are nearly fast and more efficient it sounds like the Jet engine isn't that advanced yet ?


The best way to find out would be to do a google search.

Advanced materials jet engines; composites, ceramics, titanium to handle high temperatures. More advanced electronics to keep track of engine efficiency, fuel consumption, RPM, start, stop, cruising, oxygen and other gas levels

www.compositesworld.com...

Propellors have gained from materials research too. Engines have become quieter and more fuel efficient. The same modeling software is used in both cases.



posted on Feb, 2 2016 @ 04:47 PM
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a reply to: greencmp

No, they are not. NASA aeronautics budget is ~$500 to $700 million each year. The rest, which is mostly space, is around $17.5 billion. Personally, I think both the aeronautics side and the astronautics side would be better served by making them separate agencies. That's got as much likelihood as flying as a brick.



posted on Feb, 2 2016 @ 04:51 PM
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a reply to: anzha

So, it's a mandatory expenditure. That doesn't make me feel better.



posted on Feb, 2 2016 @ 05:03 PM
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Cool thread.

I personally like the 2nd picture of the Hybrid Wing Body. From what I gathered in the article that beast is intended to replace the C17 AND C5 while saving heap loads of fuel? I like that idea. Plus the design is neat.

Question. How massive are those engines and where can I go to read up on the likely engine they intend to use or are looking to develop for that. It's just that they seem like they would be massive enough to drive a bus through.

As for the first picture. It's pretty n all but, boom less flight? Doesn't that violate the laws of physics. That'll never happen.



posted on Feb, 2 2016 @ 05:14 PM
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a reply to: BASSPLYR

It's not boomless, it's reduced.



posted on Feb, 2 2016 @ 05:17 PM
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a reply to: Discotech

You'll never see a turboprop propelling a large aircraft, such as a 777 or 787. For long range flights, turbofan engines will always be more efficient. When you're talking the Short and Short-Medium market a turboprop works better cost wise.



posted on Feb, 2 2016 @ 05:18 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

What about the engines for the hybrid wing. I wanna know more. Any info. Like I said they are impressively large.


As for pic 1. Never in a million years.




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