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  Approach and Landing Test: T-38 flight profile

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Author Topic:   Approach and Landing Test: T-38 flight profile
posted 09-10-2012 05:35 AM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is a posted video of the first Approach and Landing Test (ALT) flight.

Does anyone know why the T-38 chase planes' gear goes down at 6.20 and stays down until Enterprise touches down?

Is it to do with airspeed or was that the flight profile chosen; i.e. after the orbiter pushed over and started to make a turn for the runway the T-38s wheels were extended?

Perhaps so as not to distract the pilot from forgetting his gear down as they got lower?


Posts: 2564
From: Netherlands
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posted 09-10-2012 08:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for heng44   Click Here to Email heng44     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The T-38 chase planes didn't land together with the orbiter, so I suspect the gear was lowered to mimic the orbiter's steep flight profile.


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From: Lockport, NY, 14094
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posted 09-10-2012 08:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Chariot412   Click Here to Email Chariot412     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Look at the difference in the angle-of-attack between the two craft. If I remember, the gear and flap limiting speed on the 38 was 240 knots. My guess is that in order to fall out of the sky as fast as the shuttle, a lot of additional drag is required.


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From: London, UK
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 09-10-2012 02:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, to increase drag/sink rate for a given speed. I think the NASA T-38 also had larger air brakes.

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