In this update: As the year comes to an end, so does our list of tasks before our next test session.

 Today’s Featured Sponsors

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A lot of accomplishments today as Ed Shadle, Keith Zanghi, Les Holm, Chris Greene, Omar Chramosta and Don Mitchell put in a lot of hard work today on the North American Eagle™


 Brand new book from Ping Fu, founder and CEO of Geomagic Software

The first order of business was to adjust the downward pressure on each of the two mid-wheels. They have infinite adjustment by rotating a ball screw that lowers or raises the wheels. Meanwhile, Ed was busy working on the LevX® Magnetic Brake temperature sensors. There are two, one for each side of the car.  They monitor the heat health of the brake rotors. After a certain temperature is reached, a coolant is released. We have been having problems with the valve and today’s work involved sorting through the system to see if we had an electrical or a hardware problem. By the end of the day we determined that it was a faulty valve. It will be removed and replaced.

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After we adjusted the mid-wheel down pressure, we put the car back on jacks. During our last test session at the Alvord Desert, the mid-wheel body panel was damaged when high velocity sand peeled back the center panel.  So during the week Keith had a new panel rolled to match the bottom of the vehicle. Les took his decades of working on Boeing flight line and AOG (Aircraft on Ground) work and showed Chris how to duplicate an identical panel. Chris is enrolled in the Aerospace Composite Engineering class at Pierce County Skills center and he is fortunate to have Les and Omar as mentors.


Newly completed hydraulics bay

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For the past three weeks we have been improving the hydraulics system on the Eagle. The change moved the hydraulic pump within 4 feet of the steering control unit and battery compartment. This eliminated nearly 60 feet of pressure and return hoses. After a successful functional test last weekend, the work today included adding fairleads in order to secure lines. The result is a simpler and more efficient system.


Chris applies LizardSkin® protective finish to new panel

One of our very good sponsors is Geomagic Software.  Ping Fu, their CEO and founder, has helped the team for the last five years and has even visited us at the hanger.  She is an extraordinary woman and her life story is inspiring.  Her book, Bend, Not Break is now available on and at bookstores everywhere. It is receiving rave reviews. 

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Some of the 50 photos that  didn’t make the cut

We had been seeing some real cool promotional photos in preparation for it’s release. All the typical stuff…shots on coffee tables, next to art work or on a shelf.  We thought we would come up with our own NAE version.  After about 50 photographs using a small digital camera and improvised shop lighting, we came up with the photo at the top of the page.  It is our way of saying thank you to Ping Fu. We urge everyone to pick up a copy and read it.


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Idex Solutions provides Dassault Systèmes CATIA Licenses


CFD Webinar now on YouTube!


Click on the YouTube link above to watch the webinar

If you missed the live webinar on Wednesday November 7th, you can now watch it on YouTube.  Sponsored by Pointwise Software and CEI EnSight Software, listen to NAE’s aerodynamicist Darren Grove, along with Chris Sideroff, PhD from Pointwise and Kevin Coburn from CEI, talk about the Computation Fluid Dynamic studies taking place on the North American Eagle.™
The webinar is highly technical with a target audience in the aerospace industry, but non-technical viewers should be able to follow along and gain insight into the highly complex North American Eagle™ project.
About the Graphic: Metacomp CFD++ solution of the North American Eagle @ 700 MPH with design cycle 1 fairings. Composite image showing unstructured viscous mesh generated with Pointwise, overlaid by stream-wise velocity on ground & symmetry planes, vehicle surfaces colored by pressure and near surface streamlines using EnSight post-processing software.

Ping Fu, Founder and CEO of Geomagic,  has a new book


Ping Fu (next to Ed) and her sister Hong – Their story in a new book, Bend, Not Break.

“Bamboo is flexible, bending with the wind but never breaking, capable of adapting to any circumstance. It suggests resilience, meaning that we have the ability to bounce back even from the most difficult times. . . . Your ability to thrive depends, in the end, on your attitude to your life circumstances. Take everything in stride with grace, putting forth energy when it is needed, yet always staying calm inwardly.”

—Ping Fu’s “Shanghai Papa”

Ping Fu knows what it’s like to be a child soldier, a factory worker, and a political prisoner. To be beaten and raped for the crime of being born into a well-educated family. To be deported with barely enough money for a plane ticket to a bewildering new land. To start all over, without family or friends, as a maid, waitress, and student.

Ping Fu also knows what it’s like to be a pioneering software programmer, an innovator, a CEO, and Inc. magazine’s Entrepreneur of the Year. To be a friend and mentor to some of the best-known names in tech­nology. To build some of the coolest new products in the world. To give speeches that inspire huge crowds. To meet and advise the president of the United States.

It sounds too unbelievable for fiction, but this is the true story of a life in two worlds.

Born on the eve of China’s Cultural Revolution, Ping was separated from her family at the age of eight. She grew up fighting hunger and humiliation and shielding her younger sister from the teenagers in Mao’s Red Guard. At twenty-five, she found her way to the United States; her only resources were $80 in traveler’s checks and three phrases of English: thank you, hello, and help.

Yet Ping persevered, and the hard-won lessons of her childhood guided her to success in her new home­land. Aided by her well-honed survival instincts, a few good friends, and the kindness of strangers, she grew into someone she never thought she’d be—a strong, independent, entrepreneurial leader. A love of problem solving led her to computer science, and Ping became part of the team that created NCSA Mosaic, which became Netscape, the Web browser that forever changed how we access information. She then started a company, Geomagic, that has literally reshaped the world, from personalizing prosthetic limbs to repair­ing NASA spaceships.

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Bend, Not Break depicts a journey from imprisonment to freedom, and from the dogmatic anticapitalism of Mao’s China to the high-stakes, take-no-prisoners world of technology start-ups in the United States. It is a tribute to one woman’s courage in the face of cruelty and a valuable lesson on the enduring power of resilience.

Get Connected with NAE Mobile Apps

NAE mobile Apps now support the entire iOS and Droid Platforms…and they’re free!


iPhone 5 App is now available. Click on the photo above to download the App


New Lenovo Video

Lenovo recently released a new video featuring the North American Eagle™ .  The NAE™  scenes were edited by Steve Wallace. Team NAE™  uses Lenovo ThinkStations and ThinkPad for aerodynamic and engineering analysis.  Click on the photo below and watch this exciting video!

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Lenovo Video

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Eric Wittler With His Lenovo Laptop

All home page photos by Eric Wittler of