Boeing Team Completes P-8A MMA High-Speed Wind Tunnel Tests
ST. LOUIS, April 13, 2005 -- A team led by Boeing (NYSE: BA) recently completed 1,300 hours of high-speed wind-tunnel testing of the U.S. Navy's Multi-mission Maritime Aircraft (MMA), which was recently given the designation P-8A.
The three-month program concluded a full week ahead of schedule on March 18.
The team conducted the tests at the NASA Ames Research Center at Moffet Field, Calif., using a 6.2 percent scale model in the 11-ft. transonic wind tunnel
"I was impressed with the teamwork across the entire test program," said Neal Mosbarger, Boeing's flight technology manager. "We had three subcontractors on site to help with model changes, as well as Naval Air Systems (NAVAIR) representatives and Boeing folks all working with the NASA staff 24 hours a day, five days a week."
Mosbarger added that preliminary analysis of test data revealed no major surprises or obvious problems. He credits teamwork for improving test productivity that saved 200 hours of the testing time.
An estimated 4,000 hours of wind-tunnel time will be logged in developing the P-8A. Designers used tools such as computational fluid dynamics to refine designs before testing to eliminate a substantial amount of tunnel time required to develop earlier designs. In addition, the 737-800 commercial airframe, currently in service with airlines around the world, has already undergone flight-testing.
The Boeing-led industry team, which includes CFM International, Northrop Grumman [NYSE: NOC], Raytheon [NYSE: RTN], and Smiths Aerospace [LSE: SMIN.L] will produce five test aircraft during the program's system development and demonstration (SDD) phase. The Navy plans to purchase up to 108 aircraft to replace its aging fleet of P-3 aircraft.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $30.5 billion business. It provides network-centric system solutions to its global military, government, and commercial customers. It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems; the world's largest military aircraft manufacturer; the world's largest satellite manufacturer and a leading provider of space-based communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile defense; NASA's largest contractor; and a global leader in sustainment solutions and launch services.
Ellen Le-Mond Holman
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