Editor's 30 May 2006 5:42 pm EDT note: At an all hands meeting at LaRC today, NASA AA for Aeronautics, Lisa Porter, told the audience that NASA "does not need research aircraft". She then specifically cited LaRC's Boeing 757 as "no longer needed."
Editor's 31 May 2006 4:02 pm EDT note: NASA LaRC just posted this summary of Porter's all hands talk yesterday. Alas, the summary is mostly fluff and chock full of buzz words and Powerpoint sentences. No mention is made of the topics raised during the question and answer portion of the event - other than mentioning that she answered questions. And of course, nothing whatsoever is mentioned about the issue of whether or not LaRC's 757 will contine to fly. Yet NASA PAO contacts me to selectively quote from a verbatim transcript of the entire event. You would think that an agency interested in full and open communication with its employees would post such a transcript as soon as it was available - instead of keeping to themsleves - except for using excerpts to correct troublesome websites.
Editor's 31 May 1:58 pm EDT Update: I got the following from J.D. Harrington at 1:58 pm EDT today with reard to a posting I made yesterday at 5:42 pm EDT. My posting yesterday was based on 3 separate LaRC employee recollections of the "take home message" from what Lisa Porter said at yesterday's all hands. I have yet to find any evidence that this transcript has been posted - officially - anywhere at NASA.
"Hi Keith, I'm the Aeronautics public affairs officer and I wanted to make sure you had the exact dialogue from Lisa Porter's all-hands at Langley. It is different from your posting yesterday. I pulled the transcripts from her speech and follow-up Q&A, and she was specifically asked about flight simulators and large expansive complex devices. Here's her response:
"Concerning the aviation safety program, we looked hard at where we wanted to go and what kind of capabilities we needed and we recognized that the simulation capability was something we really want to have and we also want to have the ability to do flight testing when appropriate. But there we did not see a need to specifically have the 757. So in terms of ARMD's perspective -- and I want to answer this very precisely because I want you to get the whole story -- from ARMD's perspective, we do not see a need to specifically maintain the 757 in our arsenal. That's not to say we won't be doing flight testing but we recognize there are other opportunities for flight testing by partnering with DoD, by partnering with other folks in NASA, by partnering with industry.
That said, there is separate decision that has to be made -- that has not been made -- from the Agency perspective. Which is that there is something called S-CAP, of which ATP [Aeronautics Test Program] is a subset of. I'm sure most of you have heard of that. It's unfortunate that it's called SCAP [Shared Capability Asset Program], which is why it's now called S-CAP. But anyway, that 757 will be one of many things that will be considered as part of the S-CAP potential portfolio. Now I will tell you that, as you can imagine, every one of the Centers believes that it has at least one thing it wants to add to that list. But I can't speak to how those decisions will be made because those decisions don't happen in Aeronautics, they happen on the ninth floor from an Agency perspective. Right now, that's an on-going decision that has not been made.
I want to make sure you all understand that. ARMD has made a programmatic decision, but the Agency has not made its decision regarding the 757.
Does that answer your question? I want to make sure that that question was answered. Lesa, did you want to add anything? Did I correctly represent?"