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AERONAUTICS IN THE NEWS

Timely notices of NASA aeronautics research and technology featured in popular magazines, television programs, films, or on the World Wide Web.

ON AUDIO

Airdate: Monthly
Network: Various Radio Stations, iTunes, Podcast
Series: The Pulse of the Planet
Segments: Various Aerospace Topics

Each month, the Pulse of the Planet audio series features two-minute audio segments on new aerospace research that affects passengers' flying experience, from air quality and noise pollution to safety and the development of new materials and technologies. Current and previous months' segments are available for listening or for download from the series' Web site.
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ON TELEVISION Updated 12-12-07

Airdate: Friday, December 14, 10 pm EST
Network: ABC
Series: 20/20

ABC's Elizabeth Vargas interviews Bruce Fisher of NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA for a program that investigates certain travel myths, including one about whether lightning could cause an airliner to crash.

Fisher was part of the eight-year NASA Storm Hazards Research Program in the 1980s that studied lightning strikes and helped improve lightning protection standards for commercial and military aircraft. Pilots navigated an instrumented F-106 jet through thunderstorms looking for lightning, while researchers took data during the storm penetrations. Fisher figures he flew through more than 200 lightning strikes. In all, the F-106 made 1,496 thunderstorm penetrations and took 714 direct lightning hits.

"We tried to quantify the electro-magnetic properties of lightning in flight, and lightning strikes to aircraft," Fisher said. "That way we could come up with certification and test standards so that lightning won't affect newer technologies now on aircraft like computerized systems and displays inside of airplanes or composite materials on the outside of airplanes."

ON THE WORLD WIDE WEB

A feature article in the July 2006 issue of "Popular Mechanics" magazine explored several NASA aeronautics research projects including the Intelligent Flight Control System, the Synthetic Vision System, and ideas for aircraft designs for the future.
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