When the U.S. Navy retired its fleet of S-3B Vikings from active responsibility in 2009, not all of them ended up grounded. At NASA’s Glenn Research Middle in Cleveland, just one S-3B was staying used pretty much day-to-day as a flight research plane. Acquired in 2004 and flown for the up coming 16 decades on a range of investigation missions, this S-3B Viking is about to fly off into the sunset and retire at the San Diego Air and Area Museum in California in which it will be utilised to teach the community about its significant position in the U.S. Navy and at NASA.
“This is the very last S-3B flying today anywhere in the globe,” claims Jim Demers, Glenn’s Flight Functions Supervisor. “It’s been a workhorse for NASA, but we just just cannot resource its distinctive components anymore.”
At first designed by Lockheed as an anti-submarine warfare aircraft, NASA’s S-3B Viking was fully reconfigured in 2006 for flight study applications. All weapons devices have been taken off and replaced with civilian avionics, GPS, and satellite communications programs to perform flight communications research.
A person of its main contributions was aiding NASA’s aeronautical innovators define communications requirements that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) can implement to unmanned aircraft programs for harmless procedure in U.S. airspace.
“This old plane has been a substantial section of ushering in the long term of aviation,” says Mike Jarrell, lead of NASA’s Command and Manage venture. “The S-3B has been a fantastic match for our study. It has a nice flat base the place we can mount a variety of antenna it flies steady and goes small and gradual so we can communicate with floor stations.”
Jarrell provides that the S-3B has carried out investigate flights around each terrain in the countrywide airspace, which contains mountains, hills, bodies of drinking water, plains, and deserts. The results of the flight study have presented NASA, the FAA, and its commercial partners a path for creating safe, trusted command-and-management radios employed for interaction from the floor to unmanned plane methods.
NASA’s S-3B also flew study flights to watch algal bloom progress in Lake Erie and acquire hyperspectral imaging gear to supply extra exact info for university scientists researching the difficulty. These hyperspectral imagers, mounted to the Viking’s tummy, assess a wide spectrum of light to identify the styles of damaging algal blooms in the drinking water.
“The S-3B gave us the versatility to fly at distinctive altitudes to picture significant swaths of Lake Erie and other bodies of h2o,” mentioned Roger Tokars, an elliptical and optics engineer at NASA Glenn. “The other edge was the aircraft’s inertial navigation method that aided us calibrate our gear for better geo-referencing details.”
NASA’s communications investigation in superior air mobility will keep on applying a T-34 Mentor as new standards are designed to advise to the Federal Aviation Administration.
The San Diego Air & Area Museum is anticipating S-3B Viking plane at its Gillespie Industry Annex among 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. currently , July 13. The progress of NASA Flight 601 can be tracked in real time on FlightAware at https://flightaware.com/reside/ The Museum’s Gillespie Subject Annex is found at 335 Kenney Street, El Cajon, CA 92020. Temperature allowing, the Viking is scheduled to depart Cleveland, Ohio at 6 a.m. Pacific Time on Tuesday, July 13. The airplane will halt in El Paso, Texas, exactly where it will remain for an hour ahead of departing for San Diego. Following a scheduled flyover of North Island Naval Air Station, the plane will fly to Gillespie Discipline in El Cajon, where it will land and taxi to its new house at the San Diego Air & Place Museum’s Annex