Saturday, March 25, 2006

Engineering Expert: Mr. Chris Gay!

Welcome our newest guest expert from the Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Mr. Chris Gay!

Mr. Gay is currently a flight test engineer for Pax River. Last year, he attended the United States Test Pilot School at Pax River to help him design better planes. This is the same test pilot school that astronaunt John Glenn attended! Mr. Gay has flown in many of our military's highest performance aircraft, including the F18 pictured here! Below is a picture of him in flying an F-18 Super Hornet over Pax River:
Before returning to school to earn his engineering degree, Mr. Gay worked as an automotive technician, working on all kinds of cars - from Honda Civics to Ferrari Testa Rosas. He's even helped design and build race cars!

Today his main projects at Pax River includes redesigning the Hawkeye aircraft so that it has the capability for midflight refueling and a new propeller design that lowers noise and vibrations. He lives in Lusby, Maryland with his wife and baby girl Lillyn.

Here is a place for you to ask Mr. Chris Gay all your engineering questions! Questions about cars, planes, Pax River, and engineering design are all great types of questions to ask him!

30 Comments:

At Sunday, January 29, 2006 8:54:00 PM, Blogger Drew said...

What is the fastest you have gone in a plane or car?
Was it scary?

 
At Sunday, January 29, 2006 9:01:00 PM, Blogger Alex C said...

Have you ever been in a situation with a plane or a racecar where the car or plane has gone out of control? What did you do???
Did you ever have an incident where you got caught in a fire with a plane or a racecar?

 
At Monday, January 30, 2006 9:01:00 AM, Blogger Leah said...

If you ever tested a plane that was totally unpredictible? What was it like?

 
At Monday, January 30, 2006 9:08:00 AM, Blogger Tim B. said...

Have you made a jet that goes at high speed?

 
At Monday, January 30, 2006 9:10:00 AM, Blogger Tim B. said...

Do you make cars that enter tornaments in the nascar games?

 
At Monday, January 30, 2006 3:35:00 PM, Blogger Celia said...

Have you ever crashed a plane while you were testing it?

 
At Wednesday, February 01, 2006 9:10:00 AM, Blogger Troy said...

what is the fastes car or plane in the world and how did you git it to go so fast was it the ingen or the car.

 
At Wednesday, February 01, 2006 9:30:00 AM, Blogger Troy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At Wednesday, February 01, 2006 9:34:00 AM, Blogger Mikey said...

Where do you go to bild plans or cars.Do you work on plans do you fly on a jet!!Is it fun to fly a plan.Is it hard to fly plan.Are you good at bilding plans and cars.

 
At Monday, February 06, 2006 9:55:00 PM, Blogger FlightTester said...

Wow, so many questions, I guess I better get started.

Drew,
The fastest I have driven a car was 155 MPH. That was in a race car on a race track.
The fastest I have flown a plane was Mach 1.18 (Mach 1.0 is the speed of sound).

Driving the car was a little scary. During a drag race, you start from a complete stop and race for one quarter of a mile. In that car, it took just over 10 seconds to reach top speed. The car accelerates so quickly that your not sure if your going to be able to stop at the end. To fly faster than the speed of sound near the base, we have to fly very high (40,000 feet). So you can't really tell how fast you are going unless you look at you airspeed indicator.

 
At Monday, February 06, 2006 10:04:00 PM, Blogger FlightTester said...

Alex,

I have never had an accidental "out of control" situation in a race car or a plane. But we do regularly put our planes out of control. In a plane it's called a departure (which is short for departure from controlled flight). There are many different ways you can get a departure, but my favorite is called the "three axis spin". Imagine standing up straight and spining around while doing somersaults and cartwheels at the same time. It's one of my favorite things to do in a plane.

I did have a fire in a race car once. I was driving down the track and the transmission broke which sprayed oil on the exhaust pipe. When the oil hit the exhaust pipe it burst into flames. All I had to do was turn the engine off and let the car cost to a stop. I knew there was oil on my tires and if I used my brakes I would have spun out of control.

 
At Tuesday, February 07, 2006 8:50:00 PM, Blogger FlightTester said...

Leah,

The planes we fly are usually very predictable. It's not very often that a plane will do something the engineers did not expect. When they do, we design a test program to find out what it is doing and how we can fix it. Fortunately, all the planes I have tested have been very predictable.

 
At Tuesday, February 07, 2006 8:52:00 PM, Blogger FlightTester said...

Tim B.

The flight test engineers do not build the planes. We test them afte they have been built by aerospace companies to make sure that our pilots are getting planes that can do the job.

 
At Tuesday, February 07, 2006 8:54:00 PM, Blogger FlightTester said...

Tim B.

I do not race in the NASCAR series. All of my racing has been in the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA). In NHRA we drag race in a straight line for 1/4 mile to see who has the fastest car.

 
At Tuesday, February 07, 2006 8:57:00 PM, Blogger FlightTester said...

Celia,

Haven't crashed a plane yet. I do not regularly fly the planes during tests. Most of my time during testing is in a control room where I listen to the pilots on the radio and I watch displays of all our instrumentation to make sure the pilots are doing the test correctly.

 
At Tuesday, February 07, 2006 9:02:00 PM, Blogger FlightTester said...

Troy,

The fastest plane we know about is the SR-71 Blackbird. It goes so fast that they had to build it out of Titanium, or else the heat from the air friction would melt the whole plane.

The fastest car I know of is called the SST. It went just over Mach 1 (the speed of sound) making it the first car to break the sound barrier.

For both the plane and the car, it was the engines that made them that fast.

 
At Tuesday, February 07, 2006 9:07:00 PM, Blogger FlightTester said...

Mikey,

I have helped repair my friends plane but I have never built an entire plane. I have built many cars in my garage. It takes a lot of tools and a lot of time in school to learn how to build cars and planes. After I finished high-school, I spent eight more years in school learning how to design and build just about anything. I just like to play with planes and cars the most. I'll be sending Mrs. Perry a new picture to put up, it's one of me actually flying an F-18 Super Hornet over the Navy base.

 
At Wednesday, February 08, 2006 9:05:00 AM, Blogger Troy said...

how long does a feild hafe to be to land on with one of your fastest air planes does it hafe to be atleast 5or3 miels.

 
At Thursday, February 09, 2006 9:00:00 PM, Blogger FlightTester said...

Troy,

The Navy jets land on aircraft carrier decks and only need 400 feet to stop. The planes have an arresting hook that grabs a wire atached to the ship.

Even without the arresting hook, most really fast jets can land on a runway of less than one mile. The really long runways are for the very large and heavy planes, like the B-52. The B-52 needs close to 3 miles of runway to takeoff when fully loaded.

 
At Thursday, February 16, 2006 9:36:00 AM, Blogger Troy said...

can a car be realy small and still be faster than the SR~71 AND HOW

 
At Thursday, February 16, 2006 9:36:00 AM, Blogger Troy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At Thursday, February 23, 2006 9:10:00 AM, Blogger Tim B. said...

Do you ever build inventions that
people use in rocket ships?

 
At Thursday, February 23, 2006 9:18:00 AM, Blogger Troy said...

how long does take to make a car like the SR-71?

 
At Thursday, March 02, 2006 9:33:00 AM, Blogger Hannah 18 said...

why do most cars that use diesel make loud, rumbling noise when they start?

 
At Saturday, March 04, 2006 7:59:00 AM, Blogger FlightTester said...

Troy
can a car be realy small and still be faster than the SR~71 and how long does take to make a car like the SR-71?

The SR-71 is an aircraft:
http://www.wvi.com/~sr71webmaster/sr-71~1.htm

A car could never be as fast ast the Blackbird. The Blackbird can fly at over 2,000 MPH, or a liitle more than 1/2 a mile per second.

Tim B.
Do you ever build inventions that
people use in rocket ships?

In my current job, I test airplanes. I almost took a job with NASA where I would have helped design rocket engines though.

Hannah 18
why do most cars that use diesel make loud, rumbling noise when they start?

In a diesel engine, the air and diesel are compressed from a farily large space to a very small space (compression ratio) which heats the mixture to a high enough temperature to make it burn. This miniature explosion is the rattle you hear when they start and idle.

 
At Monday, March 06, 2006 5:00:00 PM, Blogger Hanna 31 said...

When did you become an engineer? Is it fun to fly planes?

 
At Wednesday, March 15, 2006 8:35:00 PM, Blogger FlightTester said...

Hannah31,

I think I've always been an engineer. My earliest memories are of me trying to figure how things work and how I could make it better. I recevied the title of "Cheif Engineer" in 1998 when I worked for a company that made parts for off-road trucks. I designed lift kits for new trucks shortly after they were sold to the public.
Flying planes is great fun. The only problem is that after flying in some of the highest performace aircraft in the world, it makes it difficult to enjoy roller-coasters.

 
At Friday, March 17, 2006 2:00:00 PM, Blogger Troy said...

what was the first airplane ever made and howdid they mack it and one more questyen could yo mack it with out a engen and how would it fly and also how woulld it be diffrent from the ones today.

 
At Thursday, April 20, 2006 9:12:00 AM, Blogger Hannah 18 said...

Have you ever designed an aircraft used at war what type of aircraft was it and how long did it take to build and design it?

 
At Friday, April 21, 2006 8:56:00 AM, Blogger Mikey said...

Why did you wont to bilud plans and cars.My unkule ROBERT is in the navy and he biluds plans and at home he bluds cars he has a lot of cars.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home