Aerodynamics and Performance Flight Research and Airworthiness Best Practices

Discipline: Flight Mechanics

This presentation discussion best practices and lessons learned for flight research and airworthiness with respect to the aerodynamics and performance disciplines. Preflight analyses, instrumentation, flight test techniques, and post flight analyses are all discussed. Specific examples of lessons learned from previous flight research efforts are provided and best practices for future flight research are suggested.

Presenter Bio:
Stephen Cumming is currently the Assistant Branch Head for the Aerothermodynamics Branch at NASA Langley Research Center and serves as a senior advisor to the Scientifically Calibrated In-Flight Imagery (SCIFLI) team. He joined NASA Dryden Flight Research Center (now NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center) in 2004 and was a member of the Aerodynamics and Propulsion branch for 18 years, focusing on flight research and test aerodynamics, including aerodynamic modeling, in-flight measurements, and aircraft acoustics. Throughout his career, Stephen served as a lead research engineer on various projects, including Active
Aeroelastic Wing (AAW), F-15B Quiet Spike, Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), and Adaptive Compliant Trailing Edge (ACTE). He served as the Branch Chief of the Aerodynamics and Propulsion Branch at NASA Armstrong for seven years prior to transferring to NASA Langley in 2022. He received a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and a master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from Cornell University.

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