James Claude Patterson

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6/10/1927 - 4/26/2010

Mr. Patterson graduated from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aeronautical Engineering in June 1957. He joined the staff of the NASA Langley Research Center in 1957, and was assigned to the 8-Foot Transonic Pressure Tunnel Branch.

From 1957-1971, he conducted wind-tunnel research in the transonic speed range on military fighters and on military and civil transport designs. During this time Mr. Patterson was credited with major contributions in propulsion/pylon/airframe integration on transport-type aircraft (C-5A) and he proposed the wing-tip fan-jet engine installation for reduction of induced drag.

During the 1972-1976 timeframe, Mr. Patterson proposed a new method for vortex research and established the Langley Vortex Research Facility. He also participated in the Vortex Hazard Program conducted by the FAA, which devised a configuration that obtained vortex breakdown for the first time and proposed the inboard engine thrust reverser on the B-747 to successfully illuminate the vortex hazard in the terminal area.

Between 1977 and 1981, he headed an investigation to determine an efficient fan-jet engine/pylon configuration on the energy efficient transport which incorporated the supercritical wing section. He also designed and tested the wing-tip vortex turbine for vortex energy recovery and was involved in the design andevelopment of the wing-tip winglet.

In 1982, he was appointed Head of the Transport Aircraft Propulsion/Pylon/ Airframe Integration Group in the 16-Foot Transonic Tunnel Branch. From 1982-1986, Mr. Patterson led an investigation of the installation of nacelles on the aft portion of the wing and proposed antishock bodies at each nacelle location. This made the aft mounter nacelle installation feasible. He was also involved in the high-speed turboprop investigatioand proposed the wing-tip mounted pusher turboprop as a low drag propulsion concept. Mr. Patterson led performance enhancement for induced-drag reduction resulting from vortex propeller wake interaction program and was involved in the laminar flow nacelle investigation and flight test of the wing-tip vortex turbine. He proposed a compression-pylon to reduce wing-pylon nacelle interference. He developedpowered-engine simulator technique that has been used internationally.

During his career at NASA, he published over 30 documents, received 6 patents, and numerous other prestigious awards and recognitions. In 1986, Mr. Patterson retired from NASA and became a consultant. As a consultant, he proposed a method to reduce helicopter rotor blade/vortex slap, and tests were conducted in the University of Maryland Wind Tunnel in February 1988. He was also involved in a cooperative flight testinvestigation of the wing-tip vortex turbine on the Langley-owned Boeing 737.

Biography provided by daughter Blake Dryden. For more photos, see http://www.flickr.com/photos/blakespot/sets/72157623822255607/detail/.


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