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Official - NASA Dryden - Page 2
This page contains photos of aircraft flown at NASA Dryden Flight Research Facility, past and present. All North Spin photographs are Copyright by the photographers that took them, and are not to be re-posted or redistributed.

Subject: F/A-18A - US Navy BuNo 161519 - NASA #843
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 10/1/2002
Credit: Jim Ross / NASA

Notes: #843 is one of the numerous F/A-18s that are used in various support roles at Dryden. This aircraft was originally a Blue Angeles Hornet.


Subject: F/A-18B (SRA) - US Navy BuNo 160781 - NASA #845
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 10/3/1997
Credit: Carla Thomas / NASA

Notes: #845 was loaned to NASA Dryden from the Navy, and became the main aircraft used in the Systems Research Aircraft (SRA) program. This flying test bed has helped study many new cutting edge technologies.

Subject: F/A-18B (SRA) - US Navy BuNo 160781 - NASA #845
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: ?/?/1995
Credit: NASA

Notes: #845 in flight over Dryden.


Subject: YF-18A (HARV) - US Navy BuNo 160780 - NASA #840
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: ?/?/1994
Credit: NASA

Notes: #840 arrived at Dryden in 1985 to become the aircraft used in the High Angle of Attack Research Vehicle (HARV) program. This was a joint project between NASA's Dryden, Ames, Langley, and Lewis centers.

Subject: YF-18A (HARV) - US Navy BuNo 160780 - NASA #840
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: ?/?/1989
Credit: NASA

Notes: #840 was brought from the Patuxent River Test Center, and heavily modified over an 18 month period. It was eventually fitted with thrust vectoring paddles in 1991. The aircraft's upper surfaces were painted black, so that smoke and red liquid excreted from small holes could be seen more easily. These streams would show airflow over the surface of the aircraft.


Subject: YF-18A (HARV), X-31, & NF-16D (VISTA) Formation
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: ?/?/1994
Credit: NASA

Notes: Three unique NASA/USAF aircraft in a rare flight together.


Subject: F/A-18B - US Navy BuNo 161217 - NASA #852
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 12/29/2000
Credit: Lori Losey / NASA

Notes: Was registered as N852NA in 2001.


Subject: F/A-18B - US Navy BuNo 161355 - NASA #846
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: ?/?/1996
Credit: NASA

Notes: #846 was originally a Blue Angels Hornet.


Subject: F-100A - US Air Force #52-5778 - NACA #???
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: ?/?/1955
Credit: NASA

Notes: This aircraft was flown by Scott Crossfield in late 1954, during some inertial roll coupling boundary testing.


Subject: JF-100C - US Air Force #53-1709 - NASA #709 (Ames)
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: ?/?/1962
Credit: NASA

Notes: #709 arrived from Ames to Dryden on 11/2/1960. It was used in various simulation studies, including some in support of the X-15 and SST programs.


Subject: F-104A - US Air Force #56-734 - NASA #734
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: ?/?/1960
Credit: NASA

Notes: Eleven F-104s were flown out of Dryden over a 38 year period between 1956 and 1994, which totaled a whopping 18,000 flights.


Subject: YF-104A - US Air Force #55-2961 - NASA #818
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: ?/?/1965
Credit: NASA

Notes: Arrived to Dryden in 1956.


Subject: F-104G - German Air Force #24+64 - NASA #826
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 12/8/1993
Credit: NASA

Notes: #826 is shown here with its Flight Test Fixture (FTF) mounted on the center line. The FTF could store various test equipment during flights. This aircraft was originally German AF 24+54, and arrived at Dryden on 7/2/1975.


Subject: F-105B - US Air Force #54-102 - NASA #?
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 12/16/1959
Credit: NASA

Notes: Pictured on Rogers Dry Lake.


Subject: F-111A - US Air Force #63-9771 - NASA #?
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 7/10/1968
Credit: NASA

Notes: #771 arrived to Dryden in 1967 and was the 6th prototype F-111A.


Subject: NF-111A (AFTI) - US Air Force #63-9778 - NASA #?
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 9/18/1985
Credit: NASA

Notes: #778 was used in the Advanced Fighter Technology Integration (AFTI) program, and was specifically used to test the Mission Adaptive Wing (MAW). The black bands seen on the wing were areas where surface pressures were measured.


Subject: YF-107A - US Air Force # 55-5120 - NACA #120
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 1/7/1959
Credit: NASA

Notes: #120 was the second of two F-107 aircraft flown at Dryden between 1957 and 1959. The first F-107A was USAF #55-5118 - NACA #207. Due to problems, #207 only made 4 flights, and was then grounded.

Subject: YF-107A - US Air Force # 55-5120 - NACA #120
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 5/26/1959
Credit: NASA

Notes: #120 was the third F-107 built, and only made 40 flights before being destroyed in an accident on 9/1/1959.


Subject: F-111A (TACT) - US Air Force #63-9778 - NASA #?
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 1/29/1976
Credit: NASA

Notes: #778 was part of the Transonic Aircraft Technology (TACT) program, and the 13th F-111A built. The practice bombs shown here were for weapons load evaluation on the supercritical wing (SCW).

Subject: F-111A (TACT) - US Air Force #63-9778 - NASA #?
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 2/21/1974
Credit: NASA

Notes: Note the joint USAF/NASA logo on the tail. The TACT program lasted almost 20 years total.


Subject: C-20A (Gulfstream III) - US Air Force #83-0502 - NASA #?
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 4/8/2003
Credit: Jim Ross / NASA

Notes: #502 arrived at Dryden during 9/2002, and is used for general support. The aircraft is shown still wearing its USAF VIP scheme in this photo.


Subject: HL-10 - Northrop - NASA #804
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 5/27/1966
Credit: NASA

Notes: The HL-10 was one of five 'lifting-body' aircraft that were built to test the concept of low lift-over-drag vehicles, designed for reentry from space.


Subject: X-24A USAF #13551, M2-F3 NASA #803, & HL-10 NASA #804
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 12/18/1969
Credit: NASA

Notes: These three 'lifting-body' aircraft helped to study the concept of making un-powered landings while returning from space, in the space shuttle program. The X-24A flew from 4/17/69 to 6/4/71. The M2-F3 flew from 6/2/70 to 12/20/72. The HL-10 flew from 12/22/66 to 7/17/70.


Subject: JKC-135A - US Air Force #55-3124 - NASA #?
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 6/5/1958
Credit: NASA

Notes: In 1958, the Civil Aeronautics Administration requested NASA's help in studying new approach procedure guidelines in minimum visibility, for Boeing's new B-707. This aircraft was utilized in those tests.


Subject: NKC-135A - US Air Force #55-3129 - NASA #?
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 8/20/1979
Credit: NASA

Notes: During 1979 and 1980, #129 was primarily used to study the benefits of using winglets. Tests showed drag could be reduced up to 7 percent. This aircraft was eventually modified into a NKC-135E, and then an EC-135P. It was also used in zero G training by Mercury astronauts.


Subject: B200 Super King Air - Beech #BB-1164 - NASA #801
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 9/27/1998
Credit: Lori Losey / NASA

Notes: Shown here with a modified nose for experiments, #801 primarily works as a shuttle aircraft, moving people between Ames, Dryden, and other locations.


Subject: L-1011 Tristar - Serial #193E1067 - N140SC
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 6/?/1995
Credit: NASA

Notes: Nicknamed "Stargazer", this L-1011 is operated by the Orbital Sciences Corporation, and has worked with NASA on various programs, including the Adaptive Performance Optimization project.


Subject: Lear 24 - NASA #805
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 10/30/1998
Credit: Jim Ross / NASA

Notes: Dryden's Lear 24 was removed from the roster in 2001.


Subject: Lunar Landing Research Vehicle (LLRV) - NASA #?
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 1/11/1967
Credit: NASA

Notes: Two LLRV vehicles were built by Bell and shipped to Dryden in April, 1964. These two vehicles would help test the concept of landing on the moon for the Apollo space program. This would eventually lead NASA to give Bell a contract to deliver three Lunar Landing Training Vehicles (LLTVs) in 1966.


Subject: M2-F1 - Serial #86652 - NASA #?
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 8/28/1964
Credit: NASA

Notes: Seen in this photo while being towed by a C-47, the M2-F1 was the first piloted 'lifting body' aircraft to be test flown. The lifting body aircraft were built for the purpose of testing the concept of landing an un-powered space vehicle horizontally after reentry. Some photos show this aircraft with 'N86652' on the tail. Thanks to Rick Baldridge for the info.


Subject: M2-F2 - Northrop - NASA #803
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 2/24/1966
Credit: NASA

Notes: The success of the M2-F1 led to the construction of two heavyweight lifting bodies... The Northrop built M2-F2 and HL-10. The "M" refers to 'manned' and "F" refers to 'flight'.

Subject: M2-F2 - Northrop - NASA #803
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 11/21/1966
Credit: NASA

Notes: Lifting body #803 is seen returning from a flight, with F-104 chase #812.


Subject: M2-F3 - Northrop - NASA #803
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 6/20/1970
Credit: NASA

Notes: After M2-F2 sustained damage in a crash in May of 1967, the aircraft was given back to Northrop, where it was rebuilt into M2-F3. A center fin was added at this time, and the whole rebuild process took approximately three years.


Subject: OV-1C - US Army ##67-15932 - NASA #?
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 2/25/1983
Credit: NASA

Notes: This aircraft was used in a joint NASA/US Army Aviation Engineering Flight Activity program, to study a stall speed warning system in the early 1980s.


Subject: WP-3D - US Navy BuNo 159773 / NOAA N42RF - NASA #?
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 2/4/1987
Credit: NASA

Notes: This WP-3D was borrowed from NOAA and made a series of flights in Florida and at Dryden in 1987, to test in-flight rain damage to the Space Shuttle thermal protection system. Space Shuttle tiles were mounted on a pylon on the right wing. Three flights were made at Dryden for these tests.


Subject: P-51 - US Air Force #? - NACA #148
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USAF

Notes: An NACA P-51 sits on the NACA flight line, which at that time was located on what is now referred to as North Base.


Subject: P-51D - US Air Force #44-84900 / Privately Owned - NACA #127
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 9/15/2000
Credit: Jim Ross / NASA

Notes: This Mustang is privately owned by Bill Allmon. It was originally NACA #127, and eventually put on static display. The aircraft was then restored to its NACA scheme by Bill in 1995 and made airworthy again. It is seen here being flown at a reunion for former NACA employees, at the NASA Dryden Center. Earlier in its life, it was also modified to study the possibility of a Naval version.


Subject: PA-30 - Serial #301498 - NASA #808
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 10/8/1971
Credit: NASA

Notes: This Piper Twin Comanche was used in the early 70's to test the concept of Remotely Piloted Research Vehicles. The aircraft is seen here making a remote controlled landing.


Subject: PIK-20E - N803NA - NASA #803
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 9/12/1991
Credit: NASA

Notes: This sailplane was used at Dryden from 1981 to 1991, as a research vehicle on projects calling for high lift-over-drag and slow-speed performance.


Subject: Proteus - Scaled Composites - N281PR
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 7/26/1999
Credit: NASA

Notes: NASA Dryden assisted Scaled Composites in developing a station-keeping autopilot system, and satellite communications uplink-downlink system, for aircraft and payload data, under NASA’s Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology (ERAST) project.


Subject: R4D - US Navy BuNo ? - NASA #?
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 5/2/1956
Credit: NASA

Notes: The Navy version of the Douglas DC-3, was the R4D Skytrain. Over 32 years, three R4Ds were used at Dryden to shuttle personnel and equipment between NACA/NASA Centers and test locations, throughout the country.

Subject: R4D - US Navy BuNo ? - NASA #017?
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 8/30/1963
Credit: NASA

Notes: This F4D is seen in flight wearing the later NASA scheme.


Subject: YRF-84F - US Air Force #51-1828 - NACA #154
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 1955
Credit: NASA

Notes: This prototype photo reconnaissance aircraft was delivered to Dryden on 4/27/1954. The aircraft performed pitch-up research for the next two years, gathering data on a common problem with early swept-wing aircraft.


Subject: RSRA - Sikorsky - NASA #740
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 6/19/1984
Credit: NASA

Notes: The Rotor Systems Research Aircraft was a joint NASA/Army project that began in December of 1970, with the first of two aircraft arriving from Sikorsky on 2/11/1979. The aircraft was designed to study the concept of stopping a main rotor in flight, and allowing conventional wings to provide lift . The rotor is not attached in this photo.


Subject: SR-71A - US Air Force #61-7980 - NASA #844
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 9/?/1992
Credit: NASA

Notes: #844 made the last known SR-71 flight from Dryden on Saturday October 9, 1999, at the Edwards AFB air show.

Subject: SR-71A - US Air Force #61-7980 - NASA #844
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 1999
Credit: Tom Tschida / NASA

Notes: #844 takes off from Edwards with a NASA F/A-18B as chase.


Subject: SR-71A - US Air Force #61-7971 - NASA #832
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 4/?/1994
Credit: Tom Tschida / NASA

Notes: #832 flew at Dryden from 1990 through 1994. This aircraft was returned to the USAF and was the first aircraft reactivated for USAF reconnaissance in 1995. It was eventually returned to Dryden along with SR-71A #61-7967.


Subject: SR-71A - US Air Force #61-7980 - NASA #844
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 3/4/1998
Credit: Carla Thomas / NASA

Notes: #844 is seen making its first 'cold flow' flight, as part of the combined NASA/Rocketdyne/Lockheed, Linear Aerospike SR-71 Experiment (LASRE).

Subject: SR-71A - US Air Force #61-7980 - NASA #844
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 8/?/1997
Credit: Tony Landis / NASA

Notes: In this photo, the LASRE pod can be seen mounted on the rear of the aircraft.


Subject: SR-71A - US Air Force #61-7980 - NASA #844
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: ?/?/1994
Credit: NASA

Notes: #844 takes off from Edwards with an ultraviolet video camera mounted in the nose. The camera was aimed skyward to capture images of stars, asteroids and comets. The science portion of this ultraviolet experiment flight, was a project for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.


Subject: F-5E (SSBD) - US Air Force #74-1519 - NASA # None
Location: Edwards AFB Range, CA
Date: 8/2/2003
Credit: Carla Thomas / NASA

Notes: This modified F-5E was used in the Shaped Sonic Boom Demonstration (SSBD) project, which was part of the DARPA's QSP program, and a combined effort between DARPA, NASA, Northrop Grumman and NavAir.

Subject: F-5E (SSBD) - US Air Force #74-1519 - NASA # None
Location: Palmdale AP/AF Plant #42, CA
Date: 8/2/2003
Credit: Carla Thomas / NASA

Notes: Extensive modifications were done to the aircraft's skin at Northrop Grumman's Palmdale plant, to try and decrease the sonic boom at supersonic speeds.

Subject: F-15B - NASA #836 & F-5E - VFC-13 Side #12 BuNo 741556
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 2/13/2002
Credit: Jim Ross / NASA

Notes: During test flights, the SSBD and a standard F-5E were flown along the same route. Each sonic boom was then measured both on the ground and in the air, and the data was then compared. NASA aircraft like F-15B #836 also flew support during the tests.

Subject: F-15B - NASA #836, SSBD, & F-5E - VFC-13 Side #4 BuNo 741536
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 8/25/2003
Credit: Carla Thomas / NASA

Notes: NASA #836, the SSBD, and the baseline F-5E are seen in formation on one of the test flights. VFC-13 at Fallon provided the baseline F-5Es.


Subject: T-33A - US Air Force #55-4351 - NASA #815
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 12/8/1965
Credit: NASA

Notes: This aircraft was one of four T-33A jet trainers which NASA Dryden used from 1958 to 1973. This particular ship arrived 1/9/1963 and departed 9/10/1973. Note the "Flight Research Center" on the tail.


Subject: T-34C - US Navy BuNo 160266 - NASA #865
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 6/20/2005
Credit: Jim Ross / NASA

Notes: This T-34C is used at Dryden for basic mission support and pilot proficiency. Note the "Dryden Flight Research Center" on the lower vertical. This aircraft was originally with VX-20 in 2004, and then listed as an NT-34C.


Subject: T-37B - US Air Force #60-0084 - NASA #?
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: ?/?/1974
Credit: NASA

Notes: This T-37 was used as a support aircraft, and also acted as a probe aircraft in wake vortices studies. Unfortunately, NASA test pilot Richard E. Gray was fatally injured in this aircraft when it crashed, on 11/8/1982.


Subject: T-38B - US Air Force #68-8113 - NASA #864
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 2/24/2005
Credit: Tony Landis / NASA

Notes: NASA test pilot Gordon Fullerton taxies the new addition to the Dryden fleet onto the ramp. T-38s had been absent from Dryden for a number of years. The N number indicates this aircraft may have come from NASA Langley.


Subject: Tier III- (Minus) DarkStar - Lockheed Martin/Boeing - Article #695
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 9/14/1995
Credit: Tony Landis / NASA

Notes: The DarkStar UAV was a demonstrator designed to fly above 45,000 feet at subsonic speeds. This aircraft arrived at Dryden 9/14/1995, and made its first flight on 3/29/1996. On its second flight, it crashed on 4/22/1996.


Subject: U-2A - US Air Force #56-6711 - NASA #55-0741 (Fake)
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 5/6/1960
Credit: NASA

Notes: When Francis Gary Powers was shot down over the Soviet Union during a CIA spy flight, NASA issued a press release inferring it had been their U-2 conducting weather research that had strayed off course. The U-2A in this photo was quickly painted with fake serial number and NASA markings, and then parked on the NASA ramp, in hopes of bolstering the story. This ship was never flown by NASA.




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