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Official Photos - USN/Marine Fighters
This page contains photos of various USN/Marine test fighters. All North Spin photographs are Copyright by the photographers that took them, and are not to be re-posted or redistributed.

Subject: F/A-18F - VX-9 "Vampires" - Side #244
Location: NAWS China Lake, CA
Date: 12/15/2005
Credit: Cmdr. Ian C. Anderson / USN

Notes: One of the first F/A-18F models delivered with APG-79 AESA radar.


Subject: F/A-18F - VX-9 "Vampires" - Side #244
Location: China Lake Range, CA
Date: 12/15/2005
Credit: Cmdr. Ian C. Anderson / USN

Notes: One of the first F/A-18F models delivered with APG-79 AESA radar.


Subject: F/A-18F - VX-9 "Vampires" - Side #243 BuNo 166639
Location: China Lake Range, CA
Date: 12/15/2005
Credit: Cmdr. Ian C. Anderson / USN

Notes: One of the first F/A-18F models delivered with APG-79 AESA radar.


Subject: F/A-18E - VX-23 "Salty Dogs" - Side #103 BuNo 166643
Location: Atlantic
Date: 2/1/2006
Credit: Photographer's Mate Airman Ian Schoeneberg / USN

Notes: First aircraft to trap on USS George Washington after 438 days of docked maintenance.


Subject: F/A-18F - VX-23 "Salty Dogs" - Side #121 BuNo 166449
Location: Atlantic
Date: 10/17/2005
Credit: Photographer's Mate 3rd Class Rob Gaston / USN

Notes: Touch and go on USS Enterprise after over one year of Extended Selected Restricted Availability.


Subject: F/A-18F - VX-23 "Salty Dogs" - Side #121 BuNo 166449
Location: Atlantic
Date: 10/14/2005
Credit: Photographer's Mate 3rd Class Milosz Reterski / USN

Notes: Fy-by over USS Enterprise during sea trials, after over one year of Extended Selected Restricted Availability.


Subject: F/A-18F - VX-23 "Salty Dogs" - Side #120 BuNo 165875
Location: Maryland Coast
Date: 9/30/2005
Credit: Joe Hegedus / USN

Notes: #120 with CAG colors flying off the Maryland coast. Note the radome probe and sensors.


Subject: F/A-18F - VX-23 "Salty Dogs" - Side #120 BuNo 165875
Location: Patuxent River, MD
Date: 8/24/2005
Credit: Joe Hegedus / USN

Notes: #120 with CAG colors on approach to Pax River.


Subject: Pilot - VX-9 "Vampires"
Location: R2508 Death Valley, CA
Date: 9/7/2005
Credit: Cmdr. Ian C. Anderson / USN

Notes: Low level pop-up through Panamint Valley.


Subject: F/A-18F - VX-9 "Vampires" - Side #240 BuNo 166615
Location: Pacific
Date: 5/19/2005
Credit: Senior Chief Photographer's Mate Mahlon K. Miller / USN

Notes: #240 on approach to USS Ronald Reagan during FRS qualifications.


Subject: F/A-18C - VX-23 "Salty Dogs" - Side #400 BuNo 163476
Location: Atlantic
Date: 1/13/2005
Credit: Photographer's Mate Airman Chris Thamann / USN

Notes: #400 being moved on the flight deck of the USS Theodore Roosevelt during flight deck certification.


Subject: F/A-18A - VX-23 "Salty Dogs" - Side #107 BuNo 162437
Location: Atlantic - Virginia Coast
Date: 7/24/2003
Credit: Photographer's Mate 3rd Class Frankie Bridges / USN

Notes: #107 makes first trap ever on USS Ronald Reagan, during the ship’s initial flight deck certification.


Subject: F/A-18A - VX-23 "Salty Dogs" - Side #107 BuNo 162437
Location: Atlantic - Virginia Coast
Date: 7/24/2003
Credit: Photographer's Mate 3rd Class LaMon Bradford / USN

Notes: #107 readied for launch off the USS Ronald Reagan, during the ship’s initial flight deck certification.


Subject: F/A-18B - VX-23 "Salty Dogs" - Side #324 BuNo 161723
Location: Atlantic - Virginia Coast
Date: 7/27/2003
Credit: Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Chad McNeeley / USN

Notes: #324 launches from the USS Ronald Reagan, during the ship’s initial flight deck certification.


Subject: F/A-18A - VX-23 "Salty Dogs" - Side #110 BuNo 163148
Location: Atlantic - Virginia Coast
Date: 7/26/2003
Credit: Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Chad McNeeley / USN

Notes: #110 launches from the USS Ronald Reagan, during the ship’s initial flight deck certification.


Subject: F/A-18F - VX-23 "Salty Dogs" - Side #420
Location: Atlantic - Virginia Coast
Date: 7/25/2003
Credit: Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Chad McNeeley / USN

Notes: #420 traps on USS Ronald Reagan, during the ship’s initial flight deck certification.


Subject: F/A-18F - VX-23 "Salty Dogs" - Side #420
Location: Atlantic - Virginia Coast
Date: 7/25/2003
Credit: Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Chad McNeeley / USN

Notes: #420 traps on USS Ronald Reagan, during the ship’s initial flight deck certification.


Subject: F/A-18A - VX-23 "Salty Dogs" - Side #107 BuNo 162437
Location: Atlantic - Virginia Coast
Date: 7/24/2003
Credit: Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Chad McNeeley / USN

Notes: With crew watching, #107 makes first trap ever on USS Ronald Reagan, during the ship’s initial flight deck certification.


Subject: F/A-18E - VX-23 "Salty Dogs" - Side #401 BuNo 165779
Location: Atlantic
Date: 11/9/2002
Credit: Photographer’s Mate 1st Class James Foehl / USN

Notes: #401 prepares to launch from USS Theodore Roosevelt, during flight deck certification.


Subject: F/A-18A - VX-23 "Salty Dogs" - Side #105 BuNo 163093
Location: Atlantic Test Range
Date: 7/?/2002
Credit: Vernon Pugh / USN

Notes: Five MK-83 bombs released during an ATFLIR, adjacent stores, separation release test.


Subject: NF-14D - VX-30 "Bloodhounds" - Side #201 BuNo 163415
Location: W289 Point Mugu Sea Range, CA
Date: 11/10/2002
Credit: USN

Notes: #201 flies chase on a surface launched Tactical Tomahawk Block IV test. The Tomahawk will be followed while it runs a 780 mile course, and impacts a ground target inland, on the China Lake Range.

Subject: Tactical Tomahawk Block IV
Location: W289 Point Mugu Sea Range, CA
Date: 11/10/2002
Credit: USN

Notes: A surface launched Tactical Tomahawk Block IV is photographed by a chase plane, while it runs a 780 mile course, and impacts a ground target inland, on the China Lake Range.


Subject: QF-4S BuNo 155847 - Last Delivery
Location: MCAS Cherry Point, NC
Date: 3/3/2003
Credit: Gary Rice / USN

Notes: USMC Col. John D. Gumbel and Test Pilot Rich Bryan leave to deliver the last QF-4S from Naval Air Depot Cherry Point, to NAS Point Mugu for use as a target drone. Side number assigned by VX-30 at Point Mugu was #129.


Subject: QF-4N - NWTSPM "Bloodhounds" - Side #143 BuNo 152970
Location: Naval Station Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico
Date: 7/2/1999
Credit: Journalist 1st Class David Rush / USN

Notes: #143 conducts AR with a KC-135 while participating in weapons tests with USS Porter, in Caribbean waters.


Subject: F/A-18B - US Naval Test Pilot School - Side #03 BuNo 161707
Location: NAS Patuxent River, MD
Date: 8/3/2005
Credit: Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Daniel J. McLain / USN

Notes: USNTPS #03 takes off from NAS Patuxent River.


Subject: F/A-18B - US Naval Test Pilot School - Side #03 BuNo 161707
Location: NAS Patuxent River, MD
Date: 8/3/2005
Credit: Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Daniel J. McLain / USN

Notes: USNTPS #03 retracts gear after taking off from NAS Patuxent River.


Subject: X-31A VECTOR - VX-23 "Salty Dogs" - Side #031 BuNo 164585
Location: NAS Patuxent River, MD
Date: 4/29/2003
Credit: James Darcy / USN

Notes: The X-31 VECTOR makes an automated 24 degree AOA landing, on its last flight of the Vectoring, Extremely Short Takeoff & Landing, Control & Tailless Operation Research, test program.


Subject: X-31A VECTOR - VX-23 "Salty Dogs" - Side #031 BuNo 164585
Location: NAS Patuxent River, MD
Date: 4/22/2003
Credit: James Darcy / USN

Notes: The X-31A is seen here making the world's first automated thrust-vector ESTOL landing. This is one of two X-31 aircraft that originally flew at NASA Dryden, between 1992 and 1995.


Subject: X-31A VECTOR - VX-23 "Salty Dogs" - Side #031 BuNo 164585
Location: NAS Patuxent River, MD
Date: 3/1/2003
Credit: USMC Maj. Cody Allee / USN

Notes: The X-31 does an extremely short takeoff and landing (ESTOL) test.


Subject: X-31A VECTOR - VX-23 "Salty Dogs" - Side #031 BuNo 164585
Location: NAS Patuxent River, MD
Date: 11/14/2002
Credit: USMC Maj. Cody Allee / USN

Notes: The X-31A returns to NAS Patuxent River after a test flight.


Subject: F/A-18E - Super Hornet ITT - Build #E2 BuNo 165165
Location: NAS Patuxent River, MD
Date: N/A
Credit: Randy Hepp / USN

Notes: E2 made its first flight at Boeing St. Louis on 12/26/95. It was the second of the first seven production Super Hornets delivered, and arrived at Patuxent River to be tested by the 18E/F Integrated Test Team, on 2/19/96.


Subject: X-35C - VX-23 "Salty Dogs" - Prototype JSF Naval Variant "300"
Location: NAS Patuxent River, MD
Date: 2/10/2001
Credit: Vernon Pugh / USN

Notes: Flown by Lockheed Test Pilot Art "Turbo" Tomassetti, the X-35C prototype (JSF Navy Variant) arrives at NAS Patuxent River. The X-35C had 73 flights and 58 hours of flight time testing between 12/00 and 3/2001.


Subject: F/A-18 - NWTSCL "Dust Devils"
Location: China Lake Range, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USN

Notes: Carrying two test JDAMs.


Subject: F/A-18A - NAWC Weapons Division - Side #106 BuNo 161359
Location: China Lake Range, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USN

Notes: A Hornet in NAWC-WD markings does a JSOW test release.


Subject: F/A-18 - NWTSCL "Dust Devils"
Location: China Lake Range, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USN

Notes: This Hornet carries an awesome load of 4 test JSOWs.


Subject: F/A-18D - NAWC Weapons Division - Side #113 BuNo 164279
Location: China Lake Range, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USN

Notes: Launching an AGM-65E "Maverick".


Subject: F/A-18C - NWTSCL "Dust Devils" - Side #110
Location: NAS Point Mugu, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USN

Notes: Being loaded with SLAM-ER missiles for a test on the sea range.


Subject: F/A-18 - SLAM-ER Test
Location: NAS Point Mugu, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USN

Notes: Loaded with a single test SLAM-ER missile... Note the cameras in various locations.


Subject: F/-18D Side #14 Super Hornet Test Bed
Location: NAWS China Lake, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USN

Notes: This Hornet was supposedly a test bed for avionics testing in the 18E/F program. Any more info or photos?


Subject: F/A-18F -Super Hornet ITT - Build #F2 BuNo 165170
Location: NAWS China Lake, CA
Date: 11/?/1999
Credit: USN

Notes: F2, the second F/A-18F to be delivered to the USN, takes off on its 500th flight. F2 arrived at China Lake 4/98.


Subject: F/A-18F - VX-9 "Vampires" - Build #F4 Side #202 BuNo 165543
Location: NAWS China Lake, CA
Date: 2/12/1999
Credit: USN

Notes: F4 was the first production F/A-18F to arrive at VX-9 for operational evaluation. Lt. Pete Matisoo of NWTSCL flew the aircraft with pre-painted VX-9 markings from Boeing St. Louis, with LCdr. Bill Hamilton flying chase.


Subject: F/A-18F F2 & F/A18E E5 - Super Hornet ITT - BuNo 165170 & 165169
Location: NAWS China Lake, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USN

Notes: Production Super Hornets F2 and E5 break over China Lake.


Subject: F/A-18F F2 & F/A18E E5 - Super Hornet ITT - BuNo 165170 & 165169
Location: NAWS China Lake, CA
Date: 8/?/1998
Credit: USN

Notes: Production Super Hornets F2 and E5 fly over China Lake.


Subject: F/A-18F -Super Hornet ITT - Build #F2 BuNo 165170
Location: NAWS China Lake, CA
Date: 8/?/1998
Credit: USN

Notes: Production Super Hornet F2 flies over China Lake.


Subject: F/A-18F F2 & F/A18E E5 - Super Hornet ITT - BuNo 165170 & 165169
Location: NAWS China Lake, CA
Date: 8/?/1998
Credit: USN

Notes: Production Super Hornets F2 and E5 fly over China Lake.


Subject: F/A-18F- VX-31 "Dust Devils" - Side #201 BuNo 165668
Location: Mt. Whitney, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USN

Notes: #201 wears the CO's scheme.


Subject: F/A-18E & F/A18F - VX-31 - Side #200 & 201 BuNo 165536 & 165668
Location: Sierra Nevada Mountains
Date: 8/?/2005
Credit: Jamie Hunter / USN

Notes: #200 wears the sharp looking CAG scheme for VX-31, and #201 wears the CO's scheme.


Subject: F/A-18E & F/A18F - VX-31 - Side #200 & 201 BuNo 165536 & 165668
Location: China Lake Range, CA
Date: 8/?/2005
Credit: Jamie Hunter / USN

Notes: #200 wears the sharp looking CAG scheme for VX-31, and #201 wears the CO's scheme.


Subject: VX-31 "Dust Devils" Flight of Four
Location: China Lake Range, CA
Date: 9/?/2005
Credit: Jamie Hunter / USN

Notes: VX-31's F/A-18F #201 BuNo 165668, F/A-18E #200 BuNo 165536, F/A-18C #306, & TAV-8B #84 BuNo 163191 show off the diversity of aircraft in VX-31. Note that #84 was still wearing the JSF logo for its work on the X-35B program.


Subject: F/A-18F- VX-31 "Dust Devils" - Side #201 BuNo 165668
Location: China Lake Range, CA
Date: 9/?/2005
Credit: Jamie Hunter / USN

Notes: #201 wears the CO's scheme.


Subject: F/A-18C - NWTSCL "Dust Devils" - Side #108 BuNo 163429
Location: China Lake Range, CA
Date: 2/?/1999
Credit: USN

Notes: The NWTSCL scheme typically had "Weapons Test Squadron" along the bottom of the verticals, and "China Lake" on the top.


Subject: F/A-18A - NWTSCL "Dust Devils" - Side #100 BuNo 162851
Location: China Lake Range, CA
Date: 2/?/1999
Credit: USN

Notes: #100 wears the CAG scheme of the time. This jet was eventually upgraded to C model.


Subject: F/A-18C - VX-23 "Salty Dogs" - Side #101 BuNo 163985
Location: China Lake Range, CA
Date: 4/15/99
Credit: USN

Notes: An AIM-9X missile test is conducted over the China Lake Range.


Subject: X-35C - Lockheed - Prototype JSF Naval Variant "300"
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USAF

Notes: The X-35C JSF prototype conducts testing out of Edwards AFB, before eventually being taken to NAS Patuxent River for testing with the USN by VX-23.


Subject: X-35C - Lockheed - Prototype JSF Naval Variant "300"
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 12/16/2001
Credit: Judson Brohmer / USAF

Notes: Lockheed Martin Test Pilot Joe Sweeney flies the X-35C for the first time, from Lockheed Palmdale to Edwards AFB.

Subject: X-35C - Lockheed - Prototype JSF Naval Variant "300"
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 12/16/2001
Credit: Judson Brohmer / USAF

Notes: Landing at Edwards AFB... Lockheed Martin Test Pilot Joe Sweeney flies the X-35C for the first time, from Lockheed Palmdale to Edwards AFB.


Subject: F/A-18B - VX-30 "Bloodhounds" - Side #201
Location: W289 Point Mugu Sea Range, CA
Date: 9/21/2004
Credit: Robert M. Rossman / USN

Notes: #201 conducts AR over the Pacific Sea Range. #201 came from VFC-12 originally in 04, when VX-30 retired its F-14s and switched to F/A-18s.


Subject: F/A-18A - VX-30 "Bloodhounds" - Side #100 BuNo 163122
Location: NAS Point Mugu, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USN

Notes: #100 is the CAG Hornet of VX-30. Adversary stars were eventually applied to #100 to indicate VX-30s part time adversary mission.


Subject: F-14D - NAWC Aircraft Division - Side #231
Location: NAS Patuxent River, MD?
Date: N/A
Credit: USN

Notes: #231 doing test drop of a GBU-10.


Subject: QF-4N - NWTSPM "Bloodhounds" - Side #143 BuNo 152970
Location: W289 Point Mugu Sea Range, CA
Date: 1999?
Credit: USN

Notes: #143 wears the red & gray drone scheme, with teeth on the nose.


Subject: QF-4N - NWTSPM "Bloodhounds" - Side #144 BuNo 153011
Location: NAS Point Mugu, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USN

Notes: #143 wears the red & gray drone scheme.


Subject: QF-4N - NWTSPM "Bloodhounds" - Side #148 BuNo 151482
Location: NAS Point Mugu, CA
Date: 1999?
Credit: USN

Notes: #143 wears the red & gray drone scheme.


Subject: QF-4S - VX-30 "Bloodhounds" Side #122 “Spuds” BuNo 158360
Location: NAS Point Mugu, CA
Date: 4/?/2004?
Credit: USN

Notes: #122 was originally the #1 "Bunny" ship in the all black scheme, while with VX-4.


Subject: QF-4S - VX-30 "Bloodhounds" Side #122 “Spuds” BuNo 158360
Location: NAS Point Mugu, CA
Date: 4/?/2004?
Credit: USN

Notes: Flying off the coast near NAS Point Mugu.


Subject: QF-4S - VX-30 "Bloodhounds" Side #126 “Cujo” BuNo 153832
Location: W289 Point Mugu Sea Range, CA
Date: 2004?
Credit: USN

Notes: After NWTSPM became VX-31, the unit adopted a new logo of three dogs. In the last couple years of the QF-4 drone program, numerous VX-30 Phantoms were given dog nicknames.




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