Thursday, June 11, 2015

Thomas GIL [Ex’14] represented the French Air Force Academy at the Pegasus-AIAA student conference

The 2015 edition of the Pegasus conference was held in Salon-de-Provence at the French Air Force Academy. Pegasus stands for “Partnership of a European Group of Aeronautics and Space UniversitieS” and was created to “attract the best students and also to offer highly relevant educational and research programs”. Every year, a competition gathers European students.

This year, 30 students from 13 different institutions in 7 different countries presented their scientific papers in Aerodynamics, Aircraft Design, Propulsion, Safety, Space Engineering, Flight Dynamics or Structures.

For the first time, the French Air Force Academy attended this competition and 2nd Ltt Thomas GIL was in charge to represent it. His article (published below) dealt with the roughness-induced boundary-layer transition experiment in a Mach 6 Ludwieg tube.

While he was at USAFA for his semester exchange, in addition to his humanities courses, he had to conduct a research on the recently bought Ludwieg Tube. Broadly speaking, this Ludwieg tube is a specific wind-tunnel which enables to test different designs at Mach 6 or 7.

Hypersonic represents an important challenge for researchers and for the Air Forces. Space exploration requires this studies but also Air power, given that a high velocity vector can provide several advantages to penetrate the enemy defenses.

Thomas GIL was not the first French cadet working on this wind-tunnel: 6 cadets in pairs took part on the project since 2012. Such an involvement in only 3 years reveals again the high level of cooperation between our two academies. Cooperation will go on with another cadet working on it this Fall.

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