Now this is a radio controlled airplane...
NASA Langley appears ready to begin offering its 5.5% scale jet-powered models as research tools to the aviation safety community.
In a request for information (RFI) released last week, the agency included its AirSTAR (Airborne sub-scale transport aircraft research) testbed, which includes the subscale aircraft, control stations and communications devices, as being a research tool the community can take access to further the state of the art in loss-of-control preventatives.
Basic facts and figures provided in the RFI are here:
|Capabilities||AirSTAR sub-scale testbed|
|Scale||5.50%; 50lb; 96in length; 82in wingspan|
|Typical flight test time||20 min|
|Test location||NASA Wallops Flight Facility - Virginia|
|Control effectors||Ailerons, flaps, split-spoilers (4), split rudders (2), split elevators (4), dual engines|
|Flight control computer||Ground-based flight control via dual-processor dSpace real-time computer. Allows piloted simulation|
|Surface failures||Can fail single and multiple surfaces, fully programmable|
|Scenarios||Full and partial hydraulic failures. Impaired and inoperative engine(s). Reduced static and dynamic stability|
|Pilot-in-loop maneuvers||Includes windup turns, upset recoveries, approach to stall, stall and departure, post-stall gyration/spins|
|On-board sensors||Includes AOA and side-slip measurements, angular rates, control surface positions, engine RPM|
That's the boring part.
Here's what the aircraft looks like in flight. I found this video, obviously made by NASA, at www.RCGroups.com. It shows the first flight of the 50lb twin-jet in 2005.