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Declassified by authority of NASA 
Classification Change Notices No._/£S. 
Dated **-.iy2:i^fcL7 






• • • 



•• •• • ••• 




NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ATMINISTRATION 



TECHNICAL MEMORANDUM X-701 



STATIC AERODYNAMIC CHARACTERISTICS OF A l/9-SCALE MODEL 
OF THE ESCAPE AND EXIT CONFIGURATIONS OF 
THE PROJECT MERCURY SPACECRAFT AT 
MACH NUMBERS FROM 2.50 TO k.6^^ 
By Roger H. Pournler 

SUMMARY 



An investigation has been conducted in the Langley Unitary Plan 
wind tunnel to determine the static aerodynamic characteristics of a 
1/9- scale model of the exit and the escape configurations of the Project 
Mercury spacecraft at Mach numbers from 2.5O to ^^-,65. The exit config- 
uration was equipped with a flap-type destabillzer. The purpose of the 
destabilizing device is to assure that the spacecraft assumes the proper 
reentry attitude upon reentering the earth's atmosphere in the event 
that the primary reaction- control system fails. The flap- type destabi- 
lizing device produced the desired effect up to a Mach number of 3*9^ 
above which it did not prove to be as effective. The escape configura- 
tion was investigated with a Marman clamp and a modified parachute 
housing (large-diameter canister) and also with the small- diameter par- 
achute housing. The results show that the escape configuration trims 
with positive stability near angles of attack of 0*-* through the Mach 
number range of the tests. For Mach numbers of 3-9^ aJ^^ ^-65^ unstable 
characteristics are exhibited at the higher angles of attack. 



INTRODUCTION 



In order to obtain information for use in the design of a blunt, 
nonlifting body which could be used as a reentry vehicle, various wind- 
tunnel investigations have been conducted by the National Aeronautics 
and Space Administration (see refs. 1 to 7)- Results of these investi- 
gations have aided in the design and development of a spacecraft to 
carry man into space and return safely to earth. The development of 

*Title, Unclassified. 



the manned system for the initial orbital flights has been designated 
Project Mercury, In support of Project Mercury^ the Langley Research 
Center has conducted extensive wind-tunnel investigations. The inves- 
tigations were broadened by consideration of the many possible aero- 
dynamic configurations which might exist during planned staging for exit, 
reentry, and emergency situations. As part of these investigations, the 
Langley Unitary Plan wind tiinnel has been utilized in an investigation 
of the static aerodynamic characteristics of a l/9-scale model of the 
exit and the escape configurations. Tests were conducted at Mach numbers 
from 2.50 to ^.65. The test angle-of-attack range for the escape con- 
figuration generally extended from -5^ to 2h^, except that one escape 
configuration was tested from -25^ to 2^+^. The exit configuration was 
tested through an angle-of-attack range from -10^ to 830. The Reynolds 
numbers varied from 2.20 X 10^ to 5.22 X 10^. The results of the inves- 
tigation presented herein are compared with the results presented in 
reference 7 '^or an earlier spacecraft. 



SYMBOI£ 



The aerodynamic force and moment data are referred to the body sys- 
tem of axes (fig. l) . The reference moment-center locations are shown 
in figure 2. These moment-center locations correspond to the center-of- 
gravity location of the full-scale spacecraft. 



Ca 



eixial-force coefficient, 



Axial force 
qS 



Ca,c 



■'m 



''"a. 



Cn 



Cn, 



a 



axial-force coefficient at a = 0° 



chamber axial-force coefficient, 
pitching-moment coefficient, 



Chamber axial force 



qS 

Pitching moment 
qSd 



slope of pitching-moment-coefficient curve at a = , 
per deg 

Normal force 



normal-force coefficient. 



qS 



^ 
^ 



SCi. 



o ^^m 

slope of normal- force-coefficient curve at a = , - — , 

da 

per deg 



d 
M 

R 



T+ 



a 



maxim-urn diameter of models 8,278 in. 

free- stream Mach number 

free-stream dynamic pressure, Ib/sq ft 

Reynolds number based on maxim-um model diameter and free- 
stream conditions 

maximimi cross-sectional area, 0.37^ sq ft 

stagnation temperature, F 

angle of attack of center line of model, deg 



APPARATOS AND METHODS 



Tunnel 



Tests were conducted in the high Mach niomber test section of the 
Langley Unitary Plan wind tunnel. The test section is a variable- 
pressure continuous-flow t\innel and is h feet square and approximately 
7 feet long. The nozzle leading to the test section ±e of the asymmetric 
sliding-block type which permits a continuous variation in test- section 
Mach number from approximately 2.5O to 4. 65. 



Models 

Drawings and dimensions of the l/9-scale model used in this inves- 
tigation are presented in figure 2, and photographs of the model are 
presented in figure 3* The model was tested both with and without the 
escape system and also with the large- and small-diameter- parachute 
housings. The configurations will be referred to as the escape config- 
uration (spacecraft with escape system) and the exit configuration 
(spacecraft without escape system). The model was similar to that of 
reference 7 with the following exceptions: 

(1) A wedge-shai)ed ring, referred to as a Marman clamp, was added 
to the base of the escape tower. This ring houses the escape-tower 
separation mechanism. 

(2) A different flap-type destabilizer was added to the antenna 
housing of the exit configuration in place of the previously tested flap. 



(5) The parachute canister was enlarged for both the exit and 
escape configurations. 

Test Conditions 
Tests were i)erformed at the following conditions: 



H 


Configuration 


Angle-of-attack 


Ib/sq ft 


R 


Tt, °F 






range, deg 






2.50 


Exit 


-10 to 83 


798.5 


2.1^5 X 10^ 


150 


2.87 


Exit 


-10 to 85 


679.7 


2.39 


150 


3.9^ 


Exit 


-10 to 85 


47i^.9 


2.20 


175 


2.50 


Escape 


-25 to 2k 


l&6.k 


2.50 


150 


2.87 


Escape 


-25 to 2k 


715.3 


2.50 


150 


3.9^ 


Escape 


-25 to 2k 


539.8 


2.50 


175 


1^.65 


Escape 


-25 to 2k 


U11.7 


2.50 


175 


2.50 


Escape 


-5 to 2k 


1,586.5 


k.ko 


150 


2.87 


Escape 


-5 to 2k 


1, 481. 5 


5.22 


150 



Three separate sting arrangements were required to obtain an anglei- 
of-attack range from -250 to 8^^. These arrangements can be seen in the 
schlieren photographs (fig. k). 



CORRECTION AND ACCUEACY 



Tunnel pressure gradients in the region of the model have been 
found to be sufficiently small so as not to induce any measurable buoy- 
ancy effects on the model. However, angularity surveys indicate that 
a flow misalinement exists, therefore, the angles of attack have been 
corrected for this misalinement; and in addition, all angles of attack 
have been corrected for deflections of the balance combination due to 
aerodynamic loads. The axial- force coefficients presented are not 
adjusted for measured chamber- pressure levels. Chamber axial force, 
however, has been determined and is presented in coefficient form in 
figures 5 and 6. 

Accuracies of the present data based upon balance calibrations and 
repeatability of the results are estimated to be within the following 
limits : 




Ca ±0,020 

Ca c ±0.001 

Cjj^ ±0.010 

% ±0.050 

M (for M = 2.50, 2.50, 2.87, and 5.9^) ±0.015 

M (for M = 4.65) ±0.050 

a, deg ±0.10 



PRESENTATION OF RESULTS 



The results of the investigation are presented in the following 
figures: 

Figure 

Typical schlieren photographs ^ 

Chamber axial-force coefficients of the escape configura- 
tion with large- diameter canister and Marman clamp 5 

Chamber axial-force coefficients of the exit configuration ... 6 
Effect of change in Reynolds nimiber on the aerodynamic 

characteristics in pitch of the escape configuration 7 

Effect of change in size of the parachute housing 

(canister) and the addition of a Mannan clamp on the 

aerodynamic characteristics in pitch of the escape 

configuration 8 

Aerodynamic characteristics in pitch of the exit 

configuration 9 

Summary of the aerodynamic characteristics in pitch of the 

exit and escape configurations 10 



DISCUSSION OF RESULTS 



Escape Configuration 

Results presented in figure 7 indicate that change in the Reynolds 
number from 2.5O X 10^ to 5.22 X 10^ had negligible effects on the aero- 
dynamic characteristics of the escape configuration. 

Results presented in figure 8 and summarized in figure 10 indicate 
that all the escape configurations were statically stable at a = 0*^ 
and also exhibited positive normal-force-coefficient-curve slopes over 
the test angle- of- attack and Mach number ranges. The enlarged parachute 




canister and the addition of the Marman claurp had a slight destabilizing 
effect on the longitudinal stability Cm^^ but this effect reverses at 

Mach numbers above k.^O and results in a more stable condition. 



Exit Configuration 

Results for the exit configuration are presented in figure 9 and 
are summarized in figure 10. These results are comparable to those 
presented for the exit configuration of reference 7^ differing only in 
the addition of a different destabilizing flap to the present model. 
The results of this investigation indicate that for all test Mach num- 
bers^ the flap-type destabilizer had the desired effect of producing 
a pitching moment at zero angle of attack and of preventing the model 
from trimming at that point. At M = 5*9^ the exit configuration 
showed a constant value for Cm near an angle of attack of zero. The 
destabilizer is a safety device which will aid in the proper alinement 
of the spacecraft (heat shield forward) upon reentering the earth's 
atmosphere. 

The overall longitudinal aerodynamic characteristics of the exit 
configurations were little changed from those of the model of refer- 
ence 7. The Ciq^ is positive at the lower Mach numbers but becomes 

zero at a Mach number of ^.9k- in both instances. The slope of the 
normal- force- coefficient curve is positive for angles of attack up 
to about 60° where it becomes zero. 



CONCLUDING REMARKS 



A wind-tunnel investigation has been conducted in the Langley 
Unitary Plan wind tunnel to determine the static aerodynamic character- 
istics of a l/9-scale model of the exit and the escape configurations 
of the Project Mercury spacecraft at Mach nimbers from 2.30 to 4.65. 
The following conclusions were made: 

1. The escape configuration trims with positive stability near an 
angle of attack of 0° for all Mach nimbers. Unstable characteristics 
are shown at the higih angles of attack. 



»•• • 

• • • 

i • 

• • • •• 



2. The pitching moment caused "by the flap-type destabilizer on the 
exit configuration assiires an untrimmed and an essentially unstable con- 
dition of the spacecraft at all positive angles of attack and Mach num^ 
hers of this investigation. 



Langley Research Center^ 

National Aeronautics and Space Administration^ 

Langley Station^ Hampton^ Va. , May l8, I962. 



REFEREH^CES 



1, Turner, Kenneth L. , and Shaw, David S. : Wind- Tunnel Investigation 

at Mach Numbers Fran I.60 to 4.50 of the Static- Stability Character- 
istics of Two Nonlifting Vehicles Suitable for Reentry. NASA 
MEMO 5-2- 59L, 1959- 

2. Shaw, David S., and Turner, Kenneth L. : Wind- Tunnel Investigation 

of Static Aerodynamic Characteristics of a 1/9-Scale Model of a 
Possible Reentry Capsule at Mach Numbers From 2.29 to k,6^. NASA 
m x-253, 1959- 

5. Carter, Howard S., Kolenkiewicz, Ronald, and English, Roland D. : 
Principal Results From Wind- Tunnel Stability Tests of Several 
Proposed Space Capsule Models Up to an Angle of Attack of 53*^. 
NASA m X-21, 1959. 

k. Pearson, Albin 0. : Wind- Tunnel Investigation at Mach Niombers From 
0.^0 to l.l4 of the Static Aerodynamic Characterisitcs of a Non- 
lifting Vehicle Suitable for Reentry. NASA MEMO i^-13-59L, 1959* 

5. Pearson, Albin 0.: Wind- Tunnel Investigation at Mach Numbers From 

0.20 to 1-17 o^ the Static Aerodynamic Characteristics of a Pos- 
sible Reentry Capsule. NASA ™ X-262, 196O. 

6. Pearson, Albin 0.: Wind- Tunnel Investigation at Mach Numbers From 

0.50 to l.l4 of the Static Aerodynamic Characteristics of a Model 
of a Project Mercury Capsule. NASA OM X-292, I96O. 

7- Shaw, David S., and Turner, Kenneth L. : Wind-Tunnel Investigation 
of Static Aerodynamic Characteristics of a l/9-Scale Model of a 
Project Mercury Capsule at Mach Numbers From I.60 to k.6^. NASA 
TM X-291, i960. 



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L- 62- 2059 
(a) Escape configuration with large-diameter canister and Marman clamp. 

Figure k.- Typical schlieren photographs. M = 3-9^; R = 2.50 X lO^, 



16 




a = -3.4*= 





a = 2.8= 



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(b) Escape configuration without Marman clamp. Ir-62-2060 
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a □ 29.2° 



a = 4-4-. 2° 





a = 64.4° 



a = 81.9= 



(c) Exit configuration. 
Figure h,- Concluded. 



1^62-2061 



18 






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8 12 16 20 24 28 
a, deg 



Figure 5-- Chamber axial- force coefficients of the escape configuration 
with large-diameter canister and Marman clamp. 



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8 12 16 20 24- 
a,cleg 



(a) M = 2.50. 

Figure Y-- Effect of change in Reynolds number on the aerodynamic charac- 
teristics in pitch of the escape configuration. 




• ••• •• 

• • • • 

• •• • • 

• • • • 

• ••• •• 



21 




(b) M = 2.87. 
Figure 7.- Concluded. 



22 



•• ••• • 

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Cm a 



Cm ° 




-24 -20 -16 -12 -8 



8 12 16 20 24 



(a) M = 2.50. 



Figure 8.- Effect of the change In size of the parachute housing 
(canister) and the addition of a Marman clamp on the aero- 
dynamic characteristics in pitch of the escape configuration. 



•• ••• • • 

• • • • • 

• • •• • 

• • • • 



•• •• • ••• • ••• •* 

• • • • • • 

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25 




(b) M =2.87. 
Figure 8.- Continued. 



2k 





(c) M = 5.94. 
Figure 8.- Continued. 



• • ••• 



• • • •••! • ••• •! 




25 



Cm ao 



Cm aO 




16 20 24 



(d) M = 4.65. 
Figure 8.- Concluded. 



26 



• •• 



• •• •• • • • ••• •• 

• • • • • 

• •• • • 

••♦ • • • • • 

• •• •• • • ••• •• •«• «» 




Figure 9.- Aerodynamic characteristics in pitch of the exit configuration. 




••N • ••• •• 



• • • 4 

• • « 

• •• •• 



2? 



Conf i gurat ion Tower 



Escape 
Escape 
Escape 



On 
On 
On 
Off 



Can i ster 

Small d iameter 
Large d iameter 
Large d iameter 
Large d iameter 



Marman C lamp 

Off 
Off 
On 
Off 




2.2 2.6 3.0 3.4 3.8 4.2 4.6 5.0 



M 



Figure 10.- 'Summary of the aerodynamic characteristics in pitch of the 

exit and escape configurations. 



NASA-Langley, 1962 It- 1955