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Our project's goal - break the existing record of 763 mph (1,228 km/h) by reaching 800 mph (1,287 km/h)!

We invite you to...

NAE™ Project: Update

Featured Sponsors

3D Connexion

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen:

This weekend most of the North American Eagle™ Team will be taking the weekend off. Ed Shadle and Keith Zanghi will be headed to the other side of the country to beautiful Orlando Florida. With one of the wettest seasons ever, the two look forward to enjoying the warm weather central Florida has to offer.


Dassault Execs
Bernard Charlès, President and CEO and Philippe Forestier, EVP, Global Affairs and Communities.

The two have been invited to be keynote speakers at COE 2011 Annual PLM Conference and TechniFair. At the largest gathering of Dassault Systèmes CATIA users in the world, the two will be showing the Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) of our quest to break the 763 mph world land speed record. During the presentation the two will show the entire life cycle from reverse engineering to 3D visualization. They will be describing the work that our engineering and aerodynamic team of Ron Doll, Rex Walter, Darren Grove, Mike Thoe, Bill Eckberg, Steve Wallace and Don Mitchell have been working on. Here is a brief summary of the life cycle process.



The first step to reverse engineering the North American Eagle™ is to place targets over the entire car and shoot it with a digital camera. In our case we shot over 400 photos. It is important that the camera have at least three targets in each of the photos. Of course with hundreds of targets, the camera is picking up many targets at once as illustrated in the photo above..

computer work
side view

Micah Carter from Capture 3D did all of the photogrammetry work and shots with the ATOS 3D Digitizer.


3D Capture

The next step in the value stream is digitizing the Eagle. We use several tools to accomplish this. Most recently we used the ATOS 3D Digitizer from Capture 3D. You can see from the photo on the right that it scans an area about one meter wide. During the shot it is important that the scan pick up three targets. You can see the targets random placed on the Eagle in the photo on the left. When done, you will have a scan similar to the one below.

Scanning the car 1
Scanning the car 2

Digitized image

Like many large aerospace companies Team North American Eagle™ has numerous tools to gather this data. Over the years we have used FARO Technologies laser trackers, FaroArms® and Photon Laser to create point clouds. Below are some of those tools in action. Mike Schulz and Barry Young have been very instrumental in making those shoots happen. These models can then be pulled into the other shoots for more detail.


Scanning car 3
Scanning car 4

Point Cloud to Surfaces

At this point we have what is called a point cloud. This cloud of points is huge...on the order of about 4.5 million points defining the exterior OML (outside mold line) of the vehicle. That point cloud when colorized looks just like a photograph. You can see the point cloud in the illustration below. Most people who see thinks it is a photo, but it is not. It is model made up of many millions of points.

Car's image

To convert this huge point cloud to surfaces we use a software tool called Geomagic Qualify. Long time sponsors of the North American Eagle™ Geomagic is the most efficient software to use for this purpose. Ed and Keith over the years have given many presentations for Geomagic including Convergence which was held in Savannah Georgia and most recently The Points Beyond Tour in Detroit and Dallas.

Ed & Keith w/ woman
Ed & Keith w/ Geomagic CEO


At this point we now have many options on what we can do with the surfaces created with Geomagic Software Qualify. We can export it directly to Dassault Systèmes CATIA or we can use it to start our CFD analysis.

CFD Meshing


To run CFD (computational fluid dynamics) analysis or CFD Solutions as it is technically called, we first must run the surfaces through a pre-processing software. The product we use is PointWise Software. This software is used by the largest aerospace companies in the world to create what is called a CFD Mesh. An example of this is below.


Here you can clearly see the CFD Mesh over the Geomagic Surfaces. Once the entire vehicle has been converted, it is now ready for the CFD Flow Solver.

CFD Flow Solver


The flow solver we use is Metacomp Technologies CFD++ Software. This product is used by NASA and all the leading aerospace companies. It is the best flow solver on the market today.

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is the analysis of fluid flow around or inside an object. It can be the flow around a car, boat, submarine; even the flow of blood through our veins. In our case, we are analyzing the flow of air around the North American Eagle™ The results of that analysis will be CFD solutions to mitigate the transonic shock waves that develop as we transition from subsonic to supersonic speeds while maintaining stability and control of the car.

Air Flow graphic

After creating millions of cells on the exterior surface of the vehicle, we then use the flow solver to run up to a thousand simulations on each one.

CFD Visualization Software

Team North American Eagle™ has partnered with Computational Engineering International, Inc (CEI) of Apex North Carolina who are providing product support and software solutions using their flagship product, EnSight Gold Visualization Software. EnSight Gold is a post-processing software used to interrogate and visualize CFD Solutions in both graphic or animation form.

CFD Visualization software

As a scriptable language, EnSight Visualization Software is used to display and animate the flow field differences between multiple designs, leading to optimal aerodynamic loads.

Horsepower To Make it Happen!

Lenovo Server
Lenovo & NAE

3D Connextion 3D MouseWhen combined with other North American Eagle™ engineering partners like Lenovo Professional Grade / C20 and D20 ThinkStations and a 3Dconnexion 3D mouse, Team NAE engineers and aerodynamists have a very powerful engineering workstation.




Graphing & Scientific Calculators

HP logo
HP Calculator

One tool that every North American Eagle™ Team engineer uses is the HP50g Graphing & Scientific Calculators. Calculations of "Q" or dynamic pressure are very easy with very powerful hand held device.

C.O.E. '97 Conf.

In 2009 the Team were keynote Speakers at COE in Seattle

The COE 2011 Annual PLM Conference and TechniFair will not be the first appearance at a gathering of CATIA Operators. The two have been featured at COE 2007 at the RIO Hotel in Las Vegas, The 2007 European CATIA Forum in Paris and then COE 2009 in Seattle. During the conference both of them will be in the iDEX Solutions booth # 318. iDEX is a value added reseller for Dassault Systèmes and sponsor of the North American Eagle™.

Drafting tables

When 56-0763 was first designed, it was done on drafting tables with slide rules; two tools today that most people under 40 wouldn't recognize today. If you're attending the conference come by and say hello. We would like to show you how we are using the latest engineering tools to put new life in the North American Eagle™ and bring the 763 mph world land speed record back to North America. Please come see us in booth #318. If you can't find it, just look for the large crowd watching the new Promotional Video edited by Steve Wallace on the plasma screens!


We know a lot of our fans are on facebook.  Now the North American Eagle™ is on facebook as well! In fact many of our team members are also!  Tell your friends! It's fun!

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