Boeing, together with NASA‘s Ames Research Center and Langley Research Center, concluded an approximately three-month wind tunnel test on a Boeing 757 vertical tail to evaluate technology that aims to scale down the framework of some airplane models.
The test evaluated the impact of active flow control on vertical tail performance as part of the space agency’s Environmentally Responsible Aviation Project and is intended to help reduce penalty payments for drag and weight issues, NASA said Thursday.
Ed Whalen, program manager for testing at Boeing Research & Technology, said the team examined “a wide array of flow control configurations across the whole low-speed flight envelope of the vertical tail.”
Whalen added Boeing and NASA will select the most suitable configuration for future tests to determine how the tail will work in an actual flight environment.
Fay Collier, NASA project manager, said the technology is designed to cut down fuel emissions and noise, improve efficiency of fuel and affect future “green” airplane designs.
The wind tunnel test was conducted at the Arnold Engineering Development Center of the U.S. Air Force in Moffett Field, Calif., from the beginning of September to Nov. 4.
Flight demonstration is scheduled for 2015 and will be done aboard Boeing’s ecoDemonstrator 757 flight test airplane.