November 6, 2015

Remotely piloted PTERA bridges gap between wind tunnel, crewed flight-testing

Peter Merlin
NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center

NASA Armstrong’s PTERA remotely piloted research aircraft made its first flight on Oct. 22, 2015. All flight test objectives were met.

On Oct. 22, researchers from NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., and Area-I, Inc., of Kennesaw, Ga., successfully conducted the maiden flight of a remotely piloted test bed for cutting edge aviation and space technologies.
The Prototype-Technology Evaluation and Research Aircraft (PTERA) is a versatile flying laboratory bridging the gap between wind-tunnel experiments and crewed flight-testing.
All first flight test objectives were successfully accomplished according to team members from Armstrong’s Dale Reed Small UAS Lab and Area-I.
In 2012, the company flew the PTERA’s sister ship at Middle Georgia State University’s Eastman Campus.
The maiden flight of Armstrong’s PTERA followed two weeks of training and ground testing. The aircraft was flown under radio control by Area-I lead PTERA pilot David Stuart, as well as under the control of a Cloud Cap Piccolo autopilot. A maximum speed of 145 Knots was obtained making this the fastest PTERA flight to date. Intensive post-flight inspections of the aircraft revealed no problems.
“The first flight provided a wealth of insight into what it takes to fly and maintain the PTERA aircraft, and allowed us to identify areas for improvements that will increase safety and efficiency,” said Bruce Cogan, NASA project manager for PTERA.
For more information on Armstrong’s PTERA

All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.



Headlines – March 16, 2018

News How Did Astronaut DNA Become ‘Fake News’? – For a brief moment, NASA found itself at the center of a digital misinformation campaign.   Business Defiant undergoing rigorous testing prior to first flight this year – The Sikorsky-Boeing SB-1 Defiant coaxial helicopter demonstrator is now undergoing rigorous testing prior to its first flight expected...

News Briefs – March 16, 2018

F/A-18F crashes off coast of Florida An F/A-18F Super Hornet crashed on final approach to Boca Chica Field, Naval Air Station, Key West, Fla., at approximately 4:30 p.m., EDT, March 14. Search and rescue crews were notified shortly after the crash where they recovered both the pilot and weapons systems officer from the water approximately...
NASA photograph by Lauren Hughes

NASA Armstrong successfully flies new subscale aircraft

The Subscale Research Lab at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in California recently introduced a new addition to their fleet of miniature aircraft. The not-so-small MicroCub is a Bill Hempel 60-percent-scale super cub...