Topic: Approach and Landing Test: T-38 flight profile
posted 09-10-2012 05:35 AM
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 Registered: Nov 2001
posted 09-10-2012 08:03 AM
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.
Posts: 90 From: Lockport, NY, 14094 Registered: Jun 2011
posted 09-10-2012 08:27 AM
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.
Posts: 3043 From: London, UK Registered: Feb 2002
posted 09-10-2012 02:33 PM
Yes, to increase drag/sink rate for a given speed. I think the NASA T-38 also had larger air brakes.