Electrically powered ailerons tested on C-141
The C-141 Electric Starlifter, part of the Air Force Research Laboratory’s More Electric Airplane Program, will pass 1,000 flying hours with electrically powered ailerons early this summer.
This C-141A transport aircraft was modified two years ago with electrically powered aileron actuators in place of the original hydraulically powered units.
Other aircraft have flown with electrically powered flight controls in the past, but only to demonstrate that such systems were feasible.
While other programs typically flew 20 or 30 test hours before completion, the Electric Starlifter was targeted for a long-duration test. The modified C-141 was used in the Air Mobility Command’s air cargo transportation system to acquire at least 1,000 flying hours in an operational environment. Flying hours were gathered on cargo missions to Kwajalein Atoll, Guam, Alaska, the Amazon Jungle in Brazil and even Europe.
After suffering some initial growing pains, the electric ailerons are now demonstrating a high degree of reliability. (Courtesy of Robert Plested, 418th Flight Test Squadron)
ARIA lends support to satellite
ARIA directly supported the launch of 45 Iridium satellites by recording and relaying real-time telemetry data.
The ninth and final launch of the primary Iridium satellites aboard a DELTA II Expendable Launch Vehicle took place last month at Vandenberg AFB, Calif.
Iridium telecommunication satellites will allow wireless communication from anywhere in the world.
The 452nd will continue to support future Iridium missions when backup and replacement satellites are put into orbit. (Courtesy of Capt. Samuel Lightfoot Jr., 452nd Flight Test Squadron)
Special camera 'sees' through fog,
Preliminary tests conducted late last year indicate the PMMW camera has significant potential for helping pilots land successfully at an airfield with poor weather conditions, according to Capt. Joel J. Hagan, flight test engineer in the Speckled Trout project.
The primary objective of the flight tests is to evaluate the PMMW camera’s performance in simulated as well as actual instrument meteorological conditions while on approaches to various airfields. Approaches to conventional paved airfields and unprepared, austere airfields will be evaluated.
Testing is being conducted under a cooperative research and development agreement between TRW and the Air Force Flight Test Center. (Courtesy of Capt Joel J. Hagan, 412th Flight Test Squadron)