In-flight evaluation of aerodynamic predictions of an air-launched space boosterSeveral analytical aerodynamic design tools that were applied to the Pegasus air-launched space booster were evaluated using flight measurements. The study was limited to existing codes and was conducted with limited computational resources. The flight instrumentation was constrained to have minimal impact on the primary Pegasus missions. Where appropriate, the flight measurements were compared with computational data. Aerodynamic performance and trim data from the first two flights were correlated with predictions. Local measurements in the wing and wing-body interference region were correlated with analytical data. This complex flow region includes the effect of aerothermal heating magnification caused by the presence of a corner vortex and interaction of the wing leading edge shock and fuselage boundary layer. The operation of the first two missions indicates that the aerodynamic design approach for Pegasus was adequate, and data show that acceptable margins were available. Additionally, the correlations provide insight into the capabilities of these analytical tools for more complex vehicles in which design margins may be more stringent.
Curry, Robert E. (NASA Hugh L. Dryden Flight Research Facility Edwards, CA, United States)
Mendenhall, Michael R. (Nielsen Engineering and Research, Inc. Mountain View, CA., United States)
Moulton, Bryan (PRC Kentron, Inc. Edwards, CA., United States)
August 16, 2013
April 1, 1993
Publication: AGARD, Theoretical and Experimental Methods in Hypersonic Flows