After the Record-Breaking Flight:
CAD Rendering of the HARP
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The State of Oklahoma is widely known for its proud and influential contributions to the field of aviation. Many Oklahoma pioneers have advanced and shaped aviation history, both commercial and military. Here are a few who we recognize with our endeavors:
Paul & Thomas Braniff
Geraldyn “Jerrie” Cobb
A cooperative project between Bergey Aerospace Co., Inc. and The University of Oklahoma School of Aerospace Engineering and Department of Aviation has been established to design, fabricate and fly a High Altitude Research Plane (HARP). Although the aircraft is expected to perform a variety of research roles, the initial purpose is to replace two existing altitude records for propeller-driven aircraft. One is the United States record of 43,699 ft, the other the international altitude record of 56,046 ft. The former was set in 1967 with a turbocharged Cessna 210, the latter in 1938 with a Caproni biplane powered by a supercharged Piaggio radial engine. Numerous attempts have been made to retire the international record with modified versions of existing aircraft. None have been successful.
The HARP aircraft is being designed to reach an altitude of 60,000 ft, well above the two existing records as required by both the National Aeronautic Association (US) and the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (Worldwide). It is powered by a Continental GTSIO-520 engine equipped with an eight foot multi-blade propeller. The high-altitude engine output is boosted by a three-stage intercooled turbo-supercharger system.
The HARP project has been a part of the OU Senior Aerospace Engineering classes for the past two terms, during which the feasibility was established and the preliminary design completed. Detail design is now in progress and OU fabrication space has been obtained on Max Westheimer Field, the Norman Municipal Airport. A Continental engine has been procured, along with initial components for airframe mock-up and fabrication, using parts from a Piper PA-28 140.
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