The unidentified man with Lt. Col Perkins who at that time was the F-15 STOL ADPO Director was Col. Robert (forgot last name, but it’s not Frank Birk) Col. Robert was the Aeromechanics Division Director, Flight Dynamics Laboratory, Air Force Wright Aeronautical Laboratory (AFWAL) Wright-Patterson AFB (Area
. Lt. Col Perkins had nothing to do with the Fighter Lift and Control (FLAC) Program which the SHARC model was built for, but he worked for Col Robert ?? and accompanied him TDY to NASA-Ames to see the result of all of money being spent by Col. Robert? Division. The FLAC Program was ran from the Airframe Aerodynamics Group, Aeromechanics Division. The initial FLAC USAF Program Manager, Captain Mike Alexander did what any good Captain does when his boss shows up at his wind tunnel test, puts his Col. next to the SHARC model and have his picture taken. Afterwards, Captain Alexander, Lt. Col Perkins, and Col. Robert ?? went to a local
pub and got thoroughly
had an enjoyable evening. Steve Craft from NASA AMes was given the responsibility of building the SHARC Model at Ames.
The origin of the FLAC (SHARC) concept came from an aircraft designer from the Flight Dynamics Lab’s Mission Analysis and Design Group. The Designer was given a set of requirements to come up with an advanced fighter concept that had stealth qualities. Hence, the FLAC concept had nothing to do with MRF. There was nothing “secret” about the FLAC program or the SHARC model until a commercial partner jointed the team later in the program. Since this FLAC program/design came out just as the F-22 had just won the Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) competition, and it was generally known that whatever went into the 40x80 usually ended up in Aviation Week. Knowing this the USAF FLAC Team was very sensitive to the design NOT even closely resembling the F-22. As a matter of fact, the F-22 Chief Engineer called Captain Alexander wanting to know why the FLAC program was trying to improve “his” aircraft (F-22). So, hence the diamond wing planform (ala YF-23) and the fuselage shape similar in shape to one YF-23 nacelle, V-tails (again YF-23) and the forebody similar to the F-117. The SHARC model concept as you know it owes it “lines” to ensure the “Lab Rats” of the Flight Dynamics Laboratory did not “improve” the performance of the best fighter aircraft in the world. The FLAC concept was never meant to be operational. It was only there to produce a flow field that was representative of an aircraft shape to test flow control effectors to improve L/D and maneuvering performance.
The FLAC Program was a multi-Reynolds wind tunnel testing program that investigated forebody mechanical (strakes) and static pneumatic flow control effectors to increase maneuver performance of a representative advanced fighter concept. The investigation began with a water tunnel test at Wright-Patterson, followed by an entry into the NASA-Langley BART tunnel. The next step up in Reynolds number was a wing semi-span entry into the NASA-Ames 7x10 wind tunnel conducted by Kevin Langan. The AIAA Paper quoted above was written by Kevin Langan. Captain Alexander conducted the 10% scale “FLAC” model wind tunnel test in the NASA-AMES 7x10 wind tunnel and that was the first real investigation of the effectiveness of forebody strakes and 3 forebody nozzle blowing concepts. The 10% FLAC model was designed and fabricated at Microcraft in Tullahoma, Tn. Following the FLAC 10% scale model test, came the first entry of the SHARC model in the 40x80 which Captain Alexander and Larry Meyn of NASA Ames conducted. A commercial partner joined the SHARC team and they brought to the table the first generation Conformal Moldline technology which was tested on the SHARC model’s trailing edge flaps. There are a few AIAA FLAC papers (AIAA Paper 94-1854, 10% FLAC model) written as well as a number of USAF technical reports.
As FYI, the individuals in picture AC94-480-48 are as follows (left to right)
1) Birdman (name lost,assigned to FLAC early, but he quit NASA to go and count bird hatchlings in the US National Forrest)
2) Larry Meyn, NASA-Ames FLAC PM
3) Captain Alexander, USAF FLAC PM (civilian clothes)
4) Steve Craft NASA-Ames, PM for the design and fabrication of the SHARC Model
5) Captain Neil Mosberger A peer from the same Group as Captain Alexander (civilian clothes)
6) Name and position lost – He was a member of NASA-Ames