Visitors crowded into Australia's Aeronautical Research Laboratories at Fisherman's Band, Melbourne, recently to watch demonstrations of scientific tests.
Visitors crowded into Australia's Aeronautical Research Laboratories at Fisherman's Band, Melbourne, recently to watch demonstrations of scientific tests. The Laboratories were open to the public for a week.
One of the demonstrations was a vibration test on a 'Jindivik' pilotless target aircraft. The vibrations are minute, and can only be detected by delicate instruments. At the control panel they are traced on a cathode ray screen.
A metal fatigue test - of vital importance for modern aircraft - was made on the wing of a 'Mustang' fighter. The metal is put under strain, and afterwards a research worker points out a weakness revealed under test.
A mock-up aircraft, and an electronic brain are used to study the behaviour of a missile-armed aircraft in the air. The pilot - his model controls linked to a computer - drives to attack an enemy bomber. The computer traces his and the bomber's path and shows that he is on target.
More equipment that helps "iron out" flight problems on the ground -- a transonic wind tunnel. Windspeed in the tunnel is forced up to the speed of sound and the model 'Jindivik' under test - with visible pressure waves around it - breaks through the sound barrier. The wind tunnel enables forces on an aircraft in flight to be measured, and the design can then be changed to correct any dangerous features shown up by the test.