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Official Photos - USAF Heavies
This page contains photos of present day USAF test heavies. All North Spin photographs are Copyright by the photographers that took them, and are not to be re-posted or redistributed.

Subject: C-17A - 412th TW 418th FLTS - Serial #05-5139
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 10/17/2005
Credit: Brad White / USAF

Notes: #139 was officially assigned to the 729th AS at March ARB. Due to the fact that this was the first Lot XVII Globemaster, it was borrowed by the 412th TW for some test missions... One of which was the dropping of a 65' mock-up booster rocket from the payload door, to study the concept of aerial launch.

Subject: C-17A - 412th TW 418th FLTS - Serial #05-5139
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 10/17/2005
Credit: Bobbi Zapka / USAF

Notes: The mock-up rocket is seen being released from the cargo bay of the aircraft. This test was a joint effort between the USAF and DARPA.


Subject: MC-130E - 412th TW 418th FLTS - Serial #64-0572
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 10/?/2004
Credit: USAF

Notes: Seen sitting on the ramp the day it arrived, this Combat Talon I came from the 919th SOW to begin testing in the Avionics Modernization Program. #572 was originally a C-130E, which was converted to an MC-130E.


Subject: YAL-1A - 412th TW 317th FLTS - Serial #00-0001
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 12/9/2004
Credit: USAF

Notes: The Airborne Laser is seen flying over a large solar array, during the second test flight to reestablish airworthiness. This was required after the aircraft had been out of service for almost two years, to perform the installation of ABL's beam control system.


Subject: C-135C - 412th TW 412th FLTS - Serial #61-2669
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 11/?/2004
Credit: George Villarino / USAF

Notes: The famous Trout 99 takes off on a test mission involving the study of using off the shelf LAN equipment to offer high-speed Internet, e-mail, Voice over Internet Protocol, and video teleconferencing capabilities, while airborne.

Subject: C-135C - 412th TW 412th FLTS - Serial #61-2669
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 11/?/2004
Credit: George Villarino / USAF

Notes: This photo shows the antenna installed on the tail for broadband communications via satellite.


Subject: C-130J - MD ANG 175th WG 135th AS - Serial #98-1355
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 9/12/2003
Credit: Thomas Powell / USAF

Notes: A C-130J borrowed from the Maryland ANG sits in the Benefield Anechoic Facility, where it underwent a week of testing on its new defensive systems.

Subject: C-130J - MD ANG 175th WG 135th AS - Serial #98-1355
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 9/12/2003
Credit: Thomas Powell / USAF

Notes: New systems that were tested included: radar warning receiver, countermeasures dispensing system, and a missile warning system.


Subject: EC-135N - 412th TW 452nd FLTS Det 2 - Serial #60-0375
Location: Osan Air Base, South Korea
Date: 2000
Credit: Staff Sgt. Timothy Cook / USAF

Notes: Now retired, the "Argus" was originally stationed at Kirtland AFB. This aircraft was equipped to detect optical turbulence and other conditions associated with tracking and monitoring missiles. It helped to collect data that would later be used on the ABL, and was originally one of 5 aircraft that were part of the tracking network for the Apollo Space program.


Subject: YAL-1A - 412th TW 317th FLTS - Serial #00-0001
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: Master Sgt. James Graham / USAF

Notes: The Airborne Laser sits on the ramp at Edwards.


Subject: YAL-1A - 412th TW 317th FLTS - Serial #00-0001
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 1/?/2005
Credit: USAF

Notes: The ABL flies low over a wet Rogers Dry Lake during an airworthiness test flight.

Subject: YAL-1A - 412th TW 317th FLTS - Serial #00-0001
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 1/?/2005
Credit: USAF

Notes: The ABL is seen taking off from Edwards on an airworthiness test mission.


Subject: C-130J - RI ANG 143rd AW 143rd AS - Serial #99-1433
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 4/13/2005
Credit: USAF

Notes: A borrowed C-130J from the Rhode Island ANG is seen flying over the PIRA while conducting a Low Velocity Airdrop test.


Subject: YAL-1A - 412th TW 317th FLTS - Serial #00-0001
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 5/?/2005
Credit: USAF

Notes: During this test mission, the Airborne Laser's conformal window was successfully exposed during flight for the first time.


Subject: YAL-1A - 412th TW 317th FLTS - Serial #00-0001
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 12/3/2004
Credit: James Haseltine / USAF

Notes: The YAL-1A is seen returning to flight for the first time in almost two years, while being equipped with its beam control system.


Subject: YC-17A - 412th TW 418th FLTS - Serial #87-0025 "T-1"
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 8/?/2003
Credit: Bobbie Garcia / USAF

Notes: The first prototype C-17A known as "T-1" is seen flying one of numerous test missions, involving a problematic hydraulic hose in each engine pylon.


Subject: KC-135R - 100th ARW 351st ARS - Serial #60-0313
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 11/?/2003
Credit: Bobbi Garcia / USAF

Notes: Originally a KC-135A, this Stratotanker was borrowed from the 351st ARS and flown by Operational Test & Evaluation Det. 5 at Edwards, on an extended test mission involving the Global Air Traffic Management program.


Subject: YAL-1A - 412th TW 317th FLTS - Serial #00-0001
Location: McConnell AFB, KS
Date: 7/18/2002
Credit: USAF

Notes: The ABL makes its first flight, lasting 1 hour and 22 minutes, while circling over western Kansas.


Subject: NKC-135E - AFFTC - Serial #55-3135
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 11/?/2002
Credit: Rob Bardua / USAF

Notes: #135 is seen being prepared for a mission to Spain to observe and collect data on both of the year's Leonid meteor showers. This aircraft was retired in 2004, and was at that time the second oldest aircraft in the USAF.


Subject: YAL-1A - 412th TW 317th FLTS - Serial #00-0001
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 12/19/2002
Credit: Kristie Hogbin / USAF

Notes: The ABL arrives from the Boeing Maintenance & Modification Center in Wichita, KS.

Subject: YAL-1A - 412th TW 317th FLTS - Serial #00-0001
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 12/19/2002
Credit: Kristie Hogbin / USAF

Notes: The YAL-1A continues down the runway at Edwards after landing.


Subject: EC-18B - AFFTC - Serial #81-0892
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USAF

Notes: The EC-18B ARIA (Advanced Range Instrumentation Aircraft) is one of two such aircraft that were stationed at Edwards. For 30 years, #892 had been recording and relaying telemetry from space vehicles, such as the space shuttle and various ballistic missiles. The aircraft was moved from Edwards in 2001.


Subject: AC-130U - SOW - Serial #89-1054?
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 4/22/1992
Credit: USAF

Notes: A Spec Ops AC-130U passes by the tower as it arrives to Edwards for testing. This aircraft was one of twelve C-130H converted into AC-130U models.


Subject: C-141B - AFFTC - Serial #?
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USAF

Notes: A C-141B Starlifter is seen in fight over the R2508 range. The 141B was a stretched version of the 141A model.


Subject: NC-141A - AFFTC - Serial #61-2779
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USAF

Notes: #779 was modified from a standard C-141A, into the radar test bed seen in this photo. This aircraft was involved in the testing of radar for numerous aircraft, including: the F-16, F-15, B-1 and others. It was retired to the Edwards Museum.


Subject: NC-141A - AFFTC - Serial #61-2775
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USAF

Notes: This Starlifter was primarily utilized by the Test Pilot School for training in large aircraft. It was eventually retired to the AMC Museum at Dover AFB.


Subject: YC-17A - AFFTC - Serial #87-0025 "T-1"
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 9/15/1991
Credit: USAF

Notes: In its original factory green camo scheme, the prototype C-17A is seen on its first flight from the Douglas - Long Beach plant, to Edwards AFB. The nose boom housed instruments used to collect data for flight evaluation.

Subject: YC-17A - AFFTC - Serial #87-0025 "T-1"
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 9/15/1991
Credit: USAF

Notes: #025 lands at Edwards after making its first flight, ready to begin testing.

Subject: YC-17A - AFFTC - Serial #87-0025 "T-1"
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 9/15/1991
Credit: USAF

Notes: The first Globemaster sits safely on the ramp after its short first flight.


Subject: YC-17A - 412th TW 418th FLTS - Serial #87-0025 "T-1"
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USAF

Notes: Years after its first flight, #025 presses on in its modern basic gray scheme and ED orange tail splash.


Subject: YC-17A - 412th TW 418th FLTS - Serial #87-0025 "T-1"
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USAF

Notes: #025 still wears the red, white & blue "C-17" on its nose, which was also on the aircraft when first delivered.


Subject: YC-17A - 412th TW 418th FLTS - Serial #87-0025 "T-1"
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USAF

Notes: #025 on the taxiway.




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