Military Aircraft to Perform Aviation Safety Research
NASA is preparing to use a modified Lockheed S-3B Viking anti-submarine aircraft to venture into hazardous weather to study a phenomenon that has caused more than 100 commercial aircraft engines to fail, stall, or temporarily lose power.
Engineers from NASA's Glenn Research Center, Boeing, and the Navy have transformed an S-3B into a state-of-the-art research aircraft by adding commercial satellite communications, GPS navigation, and weather radar systems. With these new features, NASA's S-3B is equipped to conduct missions, such as environmental monitoring, satellite communications testing, and aviation safety research. It can fly at speeds and altitudes that make it perfect for studying commercial airline safety issues.
This fall, Glenn pilots and researchers plan to use the S-3B to study icing conditions in convective storms, from thunderstorms to tropical storms.