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Flight Research

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About Flight Research

Flight Research operates as a flight training service provider. It offers pilot training, flight test services, and human spaceflight training services. It was founded in 1981 and is based in Mojave, California.

Headquarters Location

1062 Flight Line, Hangar 161

Mojave, California, 93501,

United States

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Latest Flight Research News

NASA X-38: The Little Spacecraft With A Big Challenge

May 17, 2023

By  Eli Shayotovich /May 17, 2023 4:10 pm EST The X-38 Crew Return Vehicle (CRV) was tasked with a significant challenge: saving crew members aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Between 1963 and 1975, NASA's Flight Research Center and the U.S. Air Force collaborated on a project that tested out a myriad of designs for wingless vehicles that could be piloted from space down back through Earth's atmosphere and land like a conventional airplane at a preset location. This "lifting body" fleet was tested at Edwards Air Force Base and included several prototypes ( M2-F1, M2-F2, M2-F3, HL-10, X-24A, and the X-24B). But the X-24A's design is the one NASA borrowed the most from when it came time to create the X-38. The rescue vehicle had to bring the entire crew of the ISS safely back to Earth within a five-hour window and on total autopilot if any crew members were injured or incapacitated. It also needed to be flight ready at a moment's notice, fit inside the bay of the Space Shuttle to get up to the ISS, resist the damage of the harshness of space for three years, and be able to launch and separate in minutes in case a catastrophic event occurred. A global collaboratively built space lifeboat The X-38 was a collaborative effort. It involved the Johnson Space Center, Langley Research Center, Dryden Flight Research Center, and a contingent from the European Space Agency (ESA). A team from the Netherlands built the rudders, while one from Spain fashioned the landing skids. The Germans came up with a composite material for the thermal protection system on the nose, France provided aerodynamics and thermodynamics work on the overall vehicle shape, while Belgium built structural parts for the aft of the vehicle. The team had to overcome two enormous challenges. First, it had to build a custom human space rescue vehicle, which had never been done before. Second, it had to be done at a reduced cost. A whole fleet had to cost less than half of one entire Space Shuttle . And, despite an initial estimate of over $2 billion, the X-38 came in significantly under budget — about one-quarter of that original estimate. What the team built was, in effect, three crafts in one. The "spacecraft" portion of the X-38 had a deorbit propulsion module to escape the station, then maneuver through space and re-enter Earth's atmosphere. The "lifting body" of the vehicle had to automatically lock in and fly towards a landing site as it dropped to Earth in case its human payload was incapacitated or incapable of flying. On a wing and a prayer Nasa/Getty Images It also needed something from old school parachute equipped capsules — set down lightly, at very low speeds, on a set of reliable skids. Only this vehicle was equipped with a much, much larger and steerable parafoil, not a parachute. The parafoil used by the X-38 was the largest in the world with over 6 million stitches. When fully open, it covered 7,500 square feet and could carry 25,000 pounds. The X-38 was the first spacecraft to use a composite skin, which helped reduce weight. Instead of high-maintenance hydraulics, a combination of electromechanical actuators and electric motors moved the flaps and rudders. Five prototypes were built. The final version would have been 30 feet long. However, before the X-38 could be completed, NASA decided to scrap the entire project in 2002 due to budget cuts. The V132 prototype is now on display at the Strategic Air and Space Museum in Ashland, Nebraska. Recommended

Flight Research Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • When was Flight Research founded?

    Flight Research was founded in 1981.

  • Where is Flight Research's headquarters?

    Flight Research's headquarters is located at 1062 Flight Line, Hangar 161, Mojave.

  • Who are Flight Research's competitors?

    Competitors of Flight Research include Flight Time and 4 more.

Compare Flight Research to Competitors

Crosswinds Aviation

Crosswinds Aviation operates as a provider of aviation training services. The company offers services for private pilot licenses, commercial licenses, certified flight instructors (CFI), certified flight instructors – instrument (CFII), high school programs, and college programs. It was founded in 1995 and is based in Howell, Michigan.

LIFT Academy Logo
LIFT Academy

LIFT Academy operates as an aviation training service provider. It provides resources and opportunities to make the journey to becoming a pilot easier. It was founded in 1974 and is based in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Aviation Resources & Consulting Services

Aviation Resources & Consulting Services provides aviation training systems, and augmented reality and virtual reality (ARVR) development. The company's primary products include Ekanos which offers e-books for aircraft maintenance technician training facilities. It was founded in 2012 and is based in Cookeville, Tennessee.

Flight Time

Flight Time provides flight training services for aspiring pilots. It offers different training programs for pilots, flight simulation services, flight school services, and more. The company was founded in 2020 and is based in Tokyo, Japan.

XP Services

XP Services specializes in flight testing and aviation training. The company also offers services such as prototype development, cockpit modernization, unmanned aircraft systems consulting, avionics, and aviation logistics. It was founded in 2005 and is based in Tullahoma, Tennessee.

Cirrus Aircraft

Cirrus Aircraft is an aerospace company. It specializes in manufacturing and selling aircraft. It also provides flight training, maintenance and support, and more. The company was founded in 1984 and is based in Duluth, Minnesota.

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