Tag Archives: NASA

McGee Briefs Daedalians on New UTEP Aero Space Program

              Michael McGee, PhD

Dr. McGee (Left)  is a Senior Research Associate at the NASA Center for Aerospace Exploration and Technology Research at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP).

Retired from the U.S. Air Force, Dr. McGee served as an F-16 pilot, including multiple tours and Mission Commander experience. He was a Command Pilot, a Standards and Evaluation Pilot, and spent four years as an instructor pilot in the F-16 division of the Air Force Fighter Weapons School.  He is also a Daedalian.

At a recent Daedalian Society meeting at the El Paso Club in downtown El Paso, Dr. McGee, most recently with California’s famous RAND Corporation, helped bring the Daedalians up to speed on UTEP’s latest Aero-Space developments and future plans.

All the local Daedalians are former or current military aviators as well as FASF members.  Dr. McGee educated the Daedalian Flight about the new UTEP Program.

He observed that the recently retired former U.S. Secretary of the Air Force, Heather Wilson, PhD, is the new UTEP President, and is, as well, an instrument rated general aviation pilot in her own right.  Her father was a commercial pilot.  Ms. Wilson graduated with honors from the USAF Academy and served as a U.S. Congresswoman from New Mexico.  Her unique background with its focus on aviation might help explain why Dr. Wilson has such a deep personal interest in helping this innovative new space-oriented program become airborne.

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Before the meeting began, members and guests socialized. Here, L to R are: Mario Campos, Mike McGee, Jerry Dixon, Mark Pfluger, Charlie Overstreet, and, seated, Schelmo Rocha,  assistant to Colonel Norman Rice

L to R Standing: Roger Springstead, Dr. McGee, Mario Campos, Jerry Dixon, Mark Pfluger, Charlie Overstreet, Josianna and Gerry Wingett – Seated: Mr. Rocha, Norman Rice and his daughter, Timbiya Rice

L to R: Charlie Overstreet and Col. Mario Campos

L to R: Dr. Mike McGee and Jerry Dixon.

L to R: Mark Pfluger, and Jerry Wingett

L to R: Col. Campos and Flight Chaplain, Roger Springstead get ready to start the meeting.

                                                    Colonel Campos opens the meeting.

                                                   Dr. McGee begins his presentation.

     Dr. McGee, explains the new air space challenges presented by the explosion in the numbers of drones in the U.S.

Dr. McGee points out the serious air safety challenges posed by the fact that Airline Departures at Airports are well published in advance, presenting serious security threats from ill-intentioned drone operators.

Dr. McGee describes the additional aviation security threat posed by the ability of large numbers of airborne drones to be “swarmed” – creating virtual “clouds” of them in the air space.

Presentation ended, Flight Capt. Col. Campos presents Dr. McGee with a gift in thanks for his educational program

L to R: Dr. McGee posed by the Daedalian Seal with Vice Flight Capt. Ric Lambart and Flt. Captain Colonel Campos.

Below is Dr. McGee’s entire presentation, provided here because of its widespread implications for public safety in the new drone age.  The video is 41:47 in length.

 

NASA’s All-Electric Experimental X-Plane is Ready for Testing

NASA has just announced that its new X-57 “Maxwell” all electric powered test plane is ready for testing.  This will be the first time this all electric aircraft will be tested by the Space Agency.

NASA’s X-57 All Electric Powered Test Ship

With the arrival of the X-57 Maxwell at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base (EAFB) in California the Space Agency can begin ground testing, which will the be followed by actual flight testing.  Edwards is also where virtually all new USAF aircraft are given their first testing routines.

NASA’s X-57 Maxwell, the agency’s first all-electric X-plane and first crewed X-planed in two decades, is delivered to NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California in its Mod II configuration. The first of three primary modifications for the project, Mod II involves testing of the aircraft’s cruise electric propulsion system. Delivery to NASA from prime contractor Empirical Systems Aerospace of San Luis Obispo, California, marks a major milestone for the project, at which point the vehicle is reintegrated for ground tests, to be followed by taxi tests, and eventually, flight tests. X-57’s goal is to further advance the design and airworthiness process for distributed electric propulsion technology for general aviation aircraft, which can provide multiple benefits to efficiency, emissions, and noise.

This all-electric X-57 is just one of a number of modified vehicles that will not only help NASA researchers test electric propulsion systems for aircraft, but will also help them set up standards, design practices and certification plans alongside industry for forthcoming electric aerial transportation options, including the growing industry springing up around electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft for short-distance transportation.

Computer created model depicted in flight.

The above photos are courtesy of NASA

URBAN AIRCRAFT – A BRIEF VIDEO VISIT TO NASA’S LANGLEY

Facinating new concepts for the future are the daily fare here at the NASA Langley Research Facility, adjacent to Langley Air Force Base, in Virginia.  Here’s a short (3:04) peek into some of their work.  This video’s topic is about the NASA Langley Project entitled, “Advanced Urban Air Mobililty  Technology Testbeds.”

If you’re at all interested at what the skies above urban America might look like in another ten to twenty years from now, you’ll enjoy this short video.

Wright Brother’s 1st U.S. Military Flyer Replica’s Engine Starts

 FASF Advisor, Jim Davis

Jim Davis (at Left), one of the original founders of the FASF, and still one of our principal Advisors, took the following 7 minute 14 second video of the exact replica of the Wright Flyer Military model, which was first tested in July of 1909 at Ft. Myers, Virginia, the site of the current Arlington National cemetery This particular event filmed by Jim was held to celebrate the 1st start-up and ground test of the identical engine to that which successfully launched that flyer into the air that eventful day.  The entire project to memorialize that first U.S. Military aircraft was manned and operated by old friends of Jim’s.  This video of his friends’ project, called The Wright Experience, is also narrated by Jim. 

Jim’s friends with the “The Wright Experience” team has now built four (4) of the Wright Flyer, B models, one of which crashed, killing the two aviators on board, in a rural Ohio field during the summer of 2011. The others are on display at museums across the country.  See the 2nd video below to discover more about “The Wright Experience” enterprise.

Without further ado, let’s watch this historic replica as it gets rolled out of its temporary hangar at College Park, MD’s historic “World’s First Airport,” adjacent to Washington, DC and Ft. Myers, where that original Wright flying machine was first tested and accepted by the U.S. Army Signal Corp’s newly founded Aviation group.  It was at College Park’s airfield where the Wright Brothers taught our earliest military pilots how to fly their unique aeroplane.  This is in celebration of the tenth anniversary of this event video taped by Mr. Davis.

Wright Flyer – – – and “The Wright Experience” team

(Video length 3:02)