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Official Photos - USAF Past Jets
This page contains photos of various US Air Force jet test aircraft from the past. All North Spin photographs are Copyright by the photographers that took them, and are not to be re-posted or redistributed.

Subject: A-7D - AFFTC - Serial #69-6195
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USAF

Notes: #195 is an A-7D-3-CV Corsair II... It was sent to AMARC in 1990.


Subject: F-106B - Edwards Flight Test Center Museum - Serial #59-0158
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 10/19/2005
Credit: Chad Bellay / USAF

Notes: #158 was originally an F-106B-75-CO Delta Dart. It was eventually turned into a QF-106B. It's seen here after being restored by the Flight Test Center Museum at Edwards.


Subject: Four A-7D's in Formation - AFFTC
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 8/?/1992
Credit: USAF

Notes: These four aircraft were the last A-7D's to fly at the AFFTC.


Subject: A-7D Serial #69-6191 & Second A-7D - AFFTC
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USAF

Notes: These two A-7D's were used by the Test Pilot School, and also helped in various support roles at the AFFTC.


Subject: YA-9A - AFFTC - Serial #71-1367
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USAF

Notes: Two YA-9A prototypes were produced by Northrop to compete with the A-10 Warthog. #367 was the first ship, and #71-1368 was the second.


Subject: F-105B #54-0102 & YF-105A #54-0099 - AFFTC
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USAF

Notes: F-105B #102 conducts AR from prototype YF-105A #099 during an experimental refueling procedure. #099 was the second of two YF-105's.


Subject: F-105B - AFFTC - Serial #54-0100
Location: Muroc/Edwards AFB, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USAF

Notes: #100 was the first production model F-105B. The type was tested at the Flight Test Center in 1957.


Subject: XB-43 - AFFTC - Serial #44-61408
Location: Muroc/Edwards AFB, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USAF

Notes: Basically a modified version of Douglas' piston-engine XB-42... The XB-43 was the first turbojet-powered bomber prototype for the USAF. The aircraft made its first flight at Muroc/Edwards on 5/17/1946.


Subject: XB-46 - AFFTC - Serial #45-59582
Location: Muroc/Edwards AFB, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USAF

Notes: The Convair XB-46 was one of numerous designs considered in the post war scramble to create a jet powered bomber. Only one prototype B-46 was built, which flew for the first time on 5/2/1947.


Subject: XB-48 - AFFTC - Serial #45-59585
Location: Muroc/Edwards AFB, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USAF

Notes: The Martin XB-48 was also part of the post war bomber competition. It and other designs eventually lost out to the Boeing B-47. #585 was the first of two prototypes built.


Subject: B-47 - AFFTC - Serial #?
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USAF

Notes: The Boeing B-47 Stratojet was the winner of the USAF jet powered bomber competition. A B-47 is seen here taking off from Edwards AFB, CA.


Subject: B-47A - Boeing - Serial #49-1900
Location: Wichita, KS
Date: 8/11/1950
Credit: Boeing/USAF

Notes: The first production B-47A flies from the Boeing plant at Wichita, KS. #900 would eventually become NACA test aircraft #150.


Subject: B-47E - AFFTC - Serial #51-5257
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USAF

Notes: With the assistance of JATO rockets, #257 lifts off from Rogers Dry Lake during a Limited Heavy Weights Performance Test. Note the T-33 chase plane in the background. This aircraft was eventually converted to a WB-47E.


Subject: XB-51 - AFFTC - Serial #46-0685
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USAF

Notes: The Martin built XB-51 was a ground-attack aircraft that lost out to the B-57 Canberra in a USAF competition. Its first flight was in 1949. Two XB-51 prototypes were built... Both were eventually lost in fatal crashes.


Subject: XB-51 - AFFTC - Serial #46-0685
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USAF

Notes: The XB-51 was sometimes called the "Panther". Chuck Yeager flew more hours in the XB-51 than any other pilot.


Subject: XB-70 - AFFTC - Serial #62-0001
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USAF

Notes: The XB-70 Valkyrie was North American's answer for a high-altitude, supersonic bomber. Two prototypes were created... XB-70A-1 (62-0001) and XB-70A-2 (62-0207). Ship two was destroyed in an unfortunate mid-air collision with NASA F-104N #813 in 1966, killing pilot Dr. Joseph A. Walker in the F-104, and the XB-70A copilot, Maj. Carl Cross.


Subject: YB-49 - AFFTC - Serial #?
Location: Muroc/Edwards AFB, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USAF

Notes: The Northrop YB-49 was the jet-powered version of the XB-35 "flying wing" bomber. YB-49 #367 (Ship #1) crashed on 6/5/1948, killing its five-person crew, which included Capt. Glen W. Edwards. Muroc field would eventually be renamed Edwards in his honor.


Subject: YB-49 - AFFTC - Serial #?
Location: Muroc/Edwards AFB, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USAF

Notes: This shot gives a good example of how odd the "flying wing" appeared, when looking head on.


Subject: YB-49 - Northrop - Serial #42-102367 (Ship #1)
Location: Northrop Field - Hawthorne, CA
Date: 10/21/1947
Credit: USAF

Notes: The YB-49 lifts off from Northrop Field for its first flight. Northrop's chief test pilot Max Stanley flew the ship the short distance to Muroc AFB, where it would begin its testing.


Subject: YB-49 - AFFTC - Serial #42-102367 (Ship #1)
Location: Muroc/Edwards AFB, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USAF

Notes: #367 flies over Muroc Field. Two YB-49 prototypes were built from YB-35's. #42-102368 was the second aircraft.


Subject: YRB-49A - AFFTC - Serial #42-102376
Location: Muroc/Edwards AFB, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USAF

Notes: The YRB-49A was a strategic reconnaissance version of the flying wing, created from YB-35B #42-102376. Photographic equipment was installed in the tail cone bay. Its first flight was on 5/4/1950.


Subject: YB-35/49 Aircraft on the Northrop Ramp
Location: Northrop Field - Hawthorne, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USAF

Notes: More than just the three initial prototype 49's were built. The Air Force put in an order for more flying wings, but that was eventually canceled.


Subject: Jack Northrop and the YB-49
Location: N/A
Date: N/A
Credit: USAF

Notes: Aircraft designer John K. "Jack" Northrop stands in front of his YB-49 Flying Wing bomber. Mainly due to political reasons, the YB-49 was never mass produced. The last flight of the last Flying Wing took place on 4/26/1951.  Eighteen months later, Jack resigned from Northrop Aircraft, Inc., and left the aviation industry.


Subject: Flying Wings Turned to Scrap
Location: Northrop Field - Hawthorne, CA
Date: ?/?/1953?
Credit: USAF

Notes: The Air Force ordered all the remaining YB-35/49 aircraft to be destroyed. This may be the remains of the YRB-49A.


Subject: YC-14A - Boeing - Serial #72-1873
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USAF

Notes: The Boeing YC-14A competed against the McDonnell Douglas YC-15, in the Advanced Medium STOL Transport (AMST) competition. Two prototypes of the aircraft were built.


Subject: YC-15A - McDonnell Douglas - Serial #72-1875
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USAF

Notes: The YC-15A was the McDonnell Douglas entry for the competition mentioned above. There were two prototypes built, and ship #1 (875) made its first flight on 8/26/1975.


Subject: XP-59A - AFFTC - Serial #?
Location: Muroc/Edwards AFB, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USAF

Notes: The Bell XP-59A Airacomet was America's first jet-propelled aircraft. It was developed in great secrecy during the beginning of WW II. The three known prototypes produced were: #42-108784, #42-108785 & #42-108786.


Subject: XP-80 - AFFTC - Serial #44-83020
Location: Muroc/Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 1/8/1944
Credit: USAF

Notes: The Lockheed Shooting Star was the second jet fighter aircraft produced by the US. Famed Lockheed designer Clarence L. "Kelly" Johnson can be seen walking around the nose of the plane, while it's being prepared for its first flight.


Subject: XP-80A - AFFTC - Serial #44-83021
Location: Muroc/Edwards AFB, CA
Date: ?/?/1944
Credit: USAF

Notes: The second P-80 prototype produced was #021, nicknamed the "Gray Ghost". #021 was slightly larger than the first P-80. First flight was 6/10/1944.


Subject: F-11A - AFFTC - Serial #67-0045?
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USAF

Notes: The General Dynamics F-111 swing-wing attack/bomber was created from the Tactical Fighter Experimental (TFX) program, done in the 1960's. The aircraft was eventually recreated into a tactical bomber.


Subject: XP-84 - AFFTC - Serial #45-59475
Location: Muroc/Edwards AFB, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USAF

Notes: The F-84 family of aircraft was started on 2/28/1946, when Maj. Wallace A. “Wally” Lien took the Republic XP-84 Thunderjet #475, on its first flight from Edwards.


Subject: XP-84 - AFFTC - Serial #45-59476
Location: Muroc/Edwards AFB, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USAF

Notes: #476 was the second of the first three XP-84 aircraft produced.


Subject: F-84G - AFFTC - Serial #51-9698
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USAF

Notes: The Thunderjet 'G' model was upgraded with a more powerful engine, which allowed it to carry up to 4,000 pounds of ordnance. #698 is seen sitting on Rogers Dry Lake with a heavy load of bombs and rockets.


Subject: YF-84F - AFFTC - Serial #51-1344
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USAF

Notes: While the serial on the tail in this photo shows #49-2430, details on this aircraft indicate that it is actually #51-1344. It's unknown as to why it wore these incorrect markings for a short period. 344 was the second YF-84F, which was created by modifying an F-84G. It was the first aircraft to be converted with the deep fuselage and "oval" intake.


Subject: F-84F - AFFTC - Serial #51-1353
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USAF

Notes: #353 is an F-84F-1-RE, and a production version of the swept-wing Thunderstreak.


Subject: F-84F - AFFTC - Serial #51-1351
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USAF

Notes: #351 is seen doing a JATO assisted takeoff test. Note the serial 51-1353 on the tail... The F-84 tail sections could come off the aircraft during engine swaps. #351 is wearing the tail section of #353 for some reason.


Subject: RF-84F - AFFTC - Serial #51-1830
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USAF

Notes: #830 is a RF-84F-1-RE Thunderflash, which was the photo-reconnaissance version of the F-84F. #830 was the second of the first lot of three FSD aircraft. The first prototype model was YRF-84F #51-1828.


Subject: RF-84K (FICON) - AFFTC - Serial #52-7258
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USAF

Notes: #258 started out as an RF-84F-20-RE Thunderflash, and was converted to a "parasite fighter" to test the concept of being carried on B-36 bombers in the FICON program. There were ground clearance and drag problems, but the concept basically worked, and eventually a unit of RF-84K's went into operation.


Subject: F-84G (ZELMAL) - AFFTC - Serial #?
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 1/5/1954
Credit: USAF

If runways were destroyed in war, the AF wanted to still be able to launch fighters. Tests were done fitting F-84G's with JATO rockets, and launching them from truck trailers. Landing gear was removed and landings would be on a portable airbag, using an arresting hook. This was the Zero Length Launch, Mat Landing (ZELMAL) program. The first flight is pictured here.


Subject: F-84G (ZELMAL) - AFFTC - Serial #51-1225
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USAF

Notes: #225 was a F-84G-15-RE modified for the ZELMAL program.


Subject: YF-84J - AFFTC - Serial #51-1708
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USAF

Notes: #708 was the first of two F's converted to 84J models, by installing a more powerful XJ73-GE-5 engine. This model was never put into production.


Subject: XF-91 - AFFTC - Serial #46-0680
Location: Muroc/Edwards AFB, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USAF

Notes: The Republic built Thunderceptor was designed to be a high-speed interceptor. #680 was the first of two prototypes built. The XF-91 used a GE J47 engine and a 6,000 pound thrust XLR11-RM rocket motor. The first flight took place at Edwards on 5/9/1949, piloted by Carl Bellinger.


Subject: XF-91 - AFFTC - Serial #46-0681
Location: Muroc/Edwards AFB, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USAF

Notes: The XF-91's wings were unusually thick and wide at the tips. It was hoped that this would reduce wing-fuselage drag. The wing also had a variable incidence, so the angle of attack could be changed in flight.


Subject: XP-83 - AFFTC - Serial #44-84990
Location: Muroc/Edwards AFB, CA
Date: ?/?/1946
Credit: USAF

Notes: The Bell XP-83 was the third jet fighter designed during WW II, and was the follow-on to the P-59. #990 was the first of two prototypes built. The aircraft was never put into production.


Subject: X-1-1 - AFFTC/NACA - Serial #46-0062 (Ship 1)
Location: Muroc/Edwards AFB, CA
Date: ?/?/1947
Credit: USAF

Notes: #062 is the aircraft that Chuck Yeager made his famous supersonic flight in, on 10/14/1947. Apparently, the aircraft was originally delivered in white.


Subject: X-4 - AFFTC/NACA - Serial #46-0676 (Ship #1)
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: ?/?/1950
Credit: USAF

Notes: Jack Northrop designed the X-4 to study the concept of flying an aircraft that lacked a horizontal stabilizer, during transonic flight. Initial flights were made by the Northrop Co., then Chuck Yeager made the first flight to start the USAF/NACA test program on 8/18/1950. Two X-4 prototypes were built.


Subject: XF-92A - AFFTC - Serial #46-0682
Location: Muroc/Edwards AFB, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USAF

Notes: Convair built three prototypes of their XF-92A Dart, and # 682 was the first. The Dart was the first delta-wing design produced in America. Chuck Yeager was the first USAF pilot to fly the XF-92A.


Subject: XF-92A - AFFTC - Serial #
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: ?/?/1951
Credit: USAF

Notes: Howard Hughes wanted a dangerous looking aircraft to use in his movie "Jet Pilot", and the XF-92A was chosen. Repainted as a "MiG 23", filming began at Edwards in March 1951. Chuck Yeager and other ED pilots took turns flying the XF-92 (MiG 23) and other planes for the film.


Subject: X-3 - AFFTC - Serial #49-2892
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USAF

Notes: #892 was the first of two Douglas built X-3 Stiletto prototypes.


Subject: F-100A - AFFTC - Serial #52-5764
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USAF

Notes: The North American built F-100A Super Sabre was to be the replacement for the F-86. The prototype YF-100A passed Mach 1.0 on its first flight 5/25/1953.


Subject: YF-102A - AFFTC - Serial #52-7995
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USAF

Notes: Two prototypes of the Convair Delta Dagger were built, #995 being the second. #995 made its first flight on 1/11/1954.


Subject: X-1A - AFFTC/NACA - Serial #48-1384
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USAF

Notes: The Bell X-1A was a modified version of the original X-1, and was designed with greater fuel capacity and other improvements. Only one X-1A was produced. On his fourth flight in the aircraft, Chuck Yeager took the plane to 80,000 feet and a speed of Mach 2.44. The aircraft then entered an out-of-control state, and dropped to 25,000' before Yeager regained control.


Subject: F-5G - AFFTC - Serial #82-0062
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USAF

Notes: Northrop's follow-on, single engine version of the F-5, was the F-5G Tigershark. It would later be re designated the F-20. #062 was the first of four demo models.


Subject: YA-37A - AFFTC - Serial #62-5951
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 11/18/1967
Credit: USAF

Notes: Originally built as a T-37B, #951 was retired, then eventually went back to testing as a YA-37A.


Subject: YA-7D - AFFTC - Serial #67-14583
Location: Edwards AFB, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USAF

Notes: #583 is a Ling/Temco/Vought YA-7D-1-CV Corsair II, and the second of three YA prototypes built. This aircraft was being used in the "Digitac" program at the time of this photo.


Subject: YB-60 - AFFTC - Serial #49-2676
Location: N/A
Date: N/A
Credit: USAF

Notes: This is the first Convair YB-60 prototype. Originally, it was to be designated a YB-36G. First flight was on 4/18/1952. The second aircraft was YB-60-5-CF #49-2684, but was never flown.


Subject: XB-52 - AFFTC - Serial #49-0230
Location: N/A
Date: N/A
Credit: USAF

Notes: #230 was the first B-52 Stratofortress prototype built by Boeing. A second aircraft, designated a YB-52, held serial #49-0231. These two aircraft were the only B-52 models to have the tandem canopy configuration.




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