FlyASAGuy2005
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Stress On A/C From Simulated Weightless Flight

Wed Oct 08, 2008 11:17 pm

Everyone has seen NASA and other commercial entities emulate weightless flight. NASA calls is Weightless Wonder IIRC, and their air other companies that do it commercially for a price. I thought about this because I saw a bite on my locals news channel two days ago about Georgia science teachers that got a chance to experience this.

Basically, from my understanding, you climb to a pre-determined safe altitude, anywhere between 30 and 35,000ft. The they pretty much go into a series of dives with the participants not strapped in and they being to float around the cabin (correct me if I'm wrong or elaborate on the procedures).

What stresses are put on the aircraft in any? Are they any specific mods or certifications that must be done? The one I saw was done on a 727.
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Starlionblue
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RE: Stress On A/C From Simulated Weightless Flight

Wed Oct 08, 2008 11:32 pm

Certainly there are stresses put on the aircraft during the recovery phase, in which the pilots pull out of the parabolic arc at 2 G. This is well within tolerances even for normal operations. I assume, though, that due to the prolonged and repeated exposure to 2 G extra fatigue checks are in place.

Quoting FlyASAGuy2005 (Thread starter):
Basically, from my understanding, you climb to a pre-determined safe altitude, anywhere between 30 and 35,000ft. The they pretty much go into a series of dives with the participants not strapped in and they being to float around the cabin (correct me if I'm wrong or elaborate on the procedures).

You're almost right. Using a simple dive would make for a short flight. The aircraft climbs sharply, then the pilots push the nose down in a parabolic arc, simulating weightlessness. At the end of the arc, they pull up sharply (at 2 G) and climb again for another arc. The cycle is performed numerous times during one flight.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
FlyASAGuy2005
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RE: Stress On A/C From Simulated Weightless Flight

Thu Oct 09, 2008 12:14 am



Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 1):
You're almost right. Using a simple dive would make for a short flight. The aircraft climbs sharply, then the pilots push the nose down in a parabolic arc, simulating weightlessness. At the end of the arc, they pull up sharply (at 2 G) and climb again for another arc. The cycle is performed numerous times during one flight.

I.C., so basibally they do a series of up and down arc.

http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/52357main_kc135_tra.jpeg
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Starlionblue
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RE: Stress On A/C From Simulated Weightless Flight

Thu Oct 09, 2008 11:13 am



Quoting FlyASAGuy2005 (Reply 2):
I.C., so basibally they do a series of up and down arc.

Indeed. 20-30 times per flight IIRC.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo

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