HomeNewsArticle Display

B-1B returns to Arnold Air Force Base for store separation testing

A store model positions near one of the three weapons bays on a 10 percent model of the B-1B Lancer. For the first time since 2000, the B-1B is involved in testing at Arnold Air Force Base. Tests are currently ongoing to determine the effects a newly-introduced targeting pod for the B-1B would have on stores released from the aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Bradley Hicks)

A store model positions near one of the three weapons bays on a 10 percent model of the B-1B Lancer. For the first time since 2000, the B-1B is involved in testing at Arnold Air Force Base, Tennessee. Tests are currently ongoing to determine the effects a newly-introduced targeting pod for the B-1B would have on stores released from the aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Bradley Hicks)

Lt. Johnathan Gutierrez, test manager in the Flight Systems Combined Test Force at Arnold Air Force Base, looks on as a store model performs an offline simulation of store separation from a 10 percent model of the B-1B Lancer. Store separation tests are currently being conducted in the 16-foot transonic wind tunnel at Arnold to assess the impact a newly-introduced targeting pod for the B-1B would have on stores released from the aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Bradley Hicks) (This image was altered by obscuring badges for security purposes)

Lt. Johnathan Gutierrez, test manager in the Flight Systems Combined Test Force at Arnold Air Force Base, Tennessee, looks on as a store model performs an offline simulation of store separation from a 10-percent model of the B-1B Lancer. Store separation tests are currently being conducted in the 16-foot transonic wind tunnel at Arnold AFB to assess the impact a newly-introduced targeting pod for the B-1B would have on stores released from the aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Bradley Hicks)

ARNOLD AIR FORCE BASE, Tenn. (AFNS) --

It had been nearly 20 years since a test involving the B-1B Lancer aircraft was conducted by Arnold Engineering Development Complex at Arnold Air Force Base.


This long absence recently came to an end, as a 10-percent model of the bomber is now being used to conduct a series of store separation tests in the 16-foot transonic wind tunnel at Arnold AFB.


The tests, which began earlier this year, were requested by an AEDC testing partner, the Air Force SEEK EAGLE Office, based out of Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. A new targeting pod design has been introduced for the aircraft, and officials in the SEEK EAGLE Office will examine the effects of the new pod on the B-1B Lancer. Tests will be conducted on five different store models at Arnold to determine whether the full-size munitions will cleanly release from the actual bomber during flight.


“AFSEO and AEDC engineers are running numerous tests in the wind tunnel to collect data that will allow them to analyze the forces, moments and aerodynamic effects on the store and be able to determine if the trajectories from the aircraft are safe and effective for flight,” said 1st Lt. Johnathan Gutierrez, test manager in the Flight Systems Combined Test Force. “One end goal is to make sure that once a store leaves the aircraft, it moves away from the aircraft and not back towards it in aerodynamic flight.”


The targeting pod currently used on the B-1B Lancer has been in place for about 10 years. Gutierrez said the new pod configuration will enhance the avionics of the weapons system, bolstering the aircrew’s ability to locate a target.


“Because the pod has a different shape than the original one, the engineers need to study the aerodynamic effects of that on the aircraft and the weapons as they release from the aircraft, because if they encounter turbulence or other disturbances across those weapons bays, then it is likely to cause the store to behave in a way that’s unfavorable for the aircrew,” Gutierrez said.


The Captive Trajectory System, or CTS, in the 16-foot transonic wind tunnel, also known as 16T, is used to position the store models at any of the weapons bays of the B-1B Lancer.


One of the testing methods involves using the CTS to place a store close to a weapons bay and simulating the release of the munition. Depending on the aerodynamic effects the store sensors are reading, the store will drive itself away from the aircraft model as it is in actual free flight. The test system will run continuous calculations to determine where the store should be going as the store continues to drive itself. This test studies the behavior of the store as it leaves the aircraft. Engineers input specific commands for the store before testing is done.


Further testing to examine stores at specific trajectories away from the aircraft are completed later.


“We can take that store and roll it negative 90 degrees to positive 90 degrees. We can pitch it up or down. We can yaw it side-to-side,” Gutierrez said. “It just depends on what our customer wants to see based upon how they think the store will behave as it leaves the aircraft, and then they can examine data to come closer to that.”

Gutierrez reiterated that the testing now being conducted is vital in ensuring the safety of the B-1B aircrew.


“If we put something out there that’s untested, then there is a significantly higher risk to the aircrew,” he said. “But the AEDC and AFSEO team is going to crunch the numbers and do the engineering work to find out if that’s safe for flight.”


The B-1B Lancer has served the Air Force since the mid-1980s, and Gutierrez said the aircraft is still used regularly. Prior to the recent efforts, the last test at Arnold involving the B-1B – also a store separation test - occurred in 2000.


The aircraft is capable of carrying many payloads, so individual tests can last anywhere from a few days to multiple months. The ongoing testing is expected to continue through mid-Spring.

Engage

Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: Sentry Savannah brings together pilots and Airmen from across the nation for a unique fighter integration training experi…
Twitter
“This Pave Hawk represents the hard work and accomplishments of the men and women of the 55th Special Operations Sq… https://t.co/vb5f7qKaUH
Twitter
The @USAFReserve and the @AFThunderbirds recently flew @ForrestGriffin, a former @UFC champion and member of the UF… https://t.co/xgkO2ILOEq
Twitter
RT @USAFCENT: The @386thAEW is using Virtual Reality to create a fully immersive, simulated training experience for our defenders. This f…
Twitter
The pods help the MQ-9 play an increased, more prominent role in the command and control arena of the battlefield.… https://t.co/wW0LE4Uupf
Twitter
The purpose of the #F15EX’s participation in Northern Edge is to allow for immediate deep-end testing in a complex… https://t.co/xm3X2EpTiy
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Great visit to @US_CYBERCOM today. I appreciate the discussion with @CYBERCOM_DIRNSA & the teams that work in defense of…
Twitter
RT @US_TRANSCOM: #DYK, amid the ongoing #CovidPandemic, @AirMobilityCmd Airmen have employed the Transport Isolation System(TIS) and Negati…
Twitter
Invisible Wounds: Risk, Impact, and Available Resources Everyone is susceptible to invisible wounds. Its impact ca… https://t.co/yauTW2OU94
Twitter
Arthur Tien Chin was one of the first U.S. volunteer combat aviators, who traveled to China to battle in the Second… https://t.co/3xD2t3ZAEw
Twitter
RT @AFSpecOpsCmd: Service. Strength. Sacrifice.🇺🇸 #TillValhalla In honor of fallen @usairforce @SpecialTactics_ officer, Capt. Matthew Rola…
Twitter
What would happen if personnel needed to be rapidly deployed to a location where nothing was on the ground except a… https://t.co/dZT3YFYNG1
Twitter
“I have always been interested in global and international security, language, and adventure,” said A1C Jessica Ram… https://t.co/acayRIMWqb
Twitter
Happy Mother's Day! Today we honor our Airmen and Spouses who fill the role of mom. Your dedication and sacrifices… https://t.co/SBsHXqjw6N
Twitter
RT @USAFCENT: The 609th Air Operations Center made history this week when it became the first AOC to operationally utilize the Kessel Run A…
Twitter
Airmen from the 34th Fighter Squadron prepare to launch F-35A Lightning lls at Mt. Home Air Force Base, Idaho, duri… https://t.co/t41oTbPGNq
Twitter
“The #AirForceReserve is a cost-effective, accessible and ready force,” said Lt Gen Richard Scobee. “We provide str… https://t.co/mrPt6Xq5Vn
Twitter
Here's a glimpse at the most recent Week in Photos! See the rest at: https://t.co/4L68vSVNfV https://t.co/vmIDDz5Gh6
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,347,620
Follow Us