AIAA Soaring and Gliding Aircraft Guest Speaker

November 29, 2010 at 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM

McDonnell Douglas Hall Room 1030

Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering, Air Force ROTC, Aviation Science, Graduate Program

The AIAA will host a featured presentation by Dr. Bramesfeld about 100 Years of Modern Soaring. This is the first talk in a planned speaker series and it will take place from 5:00 p.m. - 6 p.m., Monday, Nov. 8 in McDonnell Douglas Hall, Room 1030.  AIAA members will receive free pizza and free event admission.

The event is free for AIAA members, and pizza will be provided. Admission to the event is $3 for non-member students, and $5 for non-students. Students who are not members and would like to become members are asked to pay their dues ($15) as soon as possible. They may pay at the Nov. 8 event or contact Brian Leenheer at bleenhe1@slu.edu.

Student who are interested in attending as asked to RSVP by the end of the day on Sunday, Nov. 28 by emailing ParksAIAA@gmail.com.

For more information visit the Parks AIAA website (http://sites.google.com/site/parksaiaa/) or email Maria Barna at mbarna@slu.edu.

About the Presentation

Dr. Bramesfeld will talk about “100 Years of Modern Soaring”: Almost exactly 100 years ago, 8 years after their famous powered flight, Orville and Wilbur Wright went back to the Outer Banks in North Carolina with the sole intention to do more flying without engine power. On October 24, 1911, Orville Wright was able to sustain motorless flight for 9 minutes and 45 seconds, a record that remained unbeaten for nearly 10 years and can be considered as the beginning of modern soaring. Since then, the sport of soaring has had its separate, independent development in aviation with impressive achievements, such as long-distance flights of over 1800 miles, flights above 50,000 feet altitude, and average speeds of in excess of 100 mph for 600-mile distance flights. Besides the sportive challenges, the technical aspects associated with soaring are quite fascinating. Low speed requirements during thermalling often fight the needs for low drag during cruise. As a result, sailplanes have always pushed the technological boundaries in aviation. In some aspects, sailplanes can be considered the “canaries” of aeronautics. Such advances include high-efficient wing designs, low-drag airfoils that use extended laminar flow, composite materials, and improved understandings of meteorology. In this presentation, an overview of the sport of soaring will be given. This includes a historical reflection, the discussion of the current state of the sport, new developments, as well as an introduction to the general challenges that the sailplane designer faces.

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