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  1. Another test support fleet phantom with the 6512th Test Squadron at Edwards AFB. June 1983 in Air Defense Command Gray October 1983 with the ED tail code added, leading F-4C 64-0727 March 1985 in the test support albino scheme with patchwork external tanks May 1985 January 1989 with an unusual white radome May 1989 during a formation proficiency mission July 1990 September 1990 Thanks for looking, Sven
  2. Shots of visiting aircraft participating in the Edwards AFB Open House in October 1983. P-51D 44-74446 "Unruly Julie" (N1451D) QF-86F 55-3846 from the Naval Weapons Center at NAS China Lake T-38B 58-1926, from the 82nd Flying Training Wing at Williams AFB F-106A 59-0062, from the 49th Fighter Interceptor Squadron at Griffiss AFB F-105D 62-4328, from the 466th Tac Fighter Squadron, Air Force Reserve at Hill AFB RF-4C 65-0902, from the 190th Tac Reconnaissance Squadron, Idaho Air Nation Guard at Gowen Field HH-1H 69-6628 of the 40th Air Rescue and Recovery Squadron, Detachment 5, a tenant unit at Edwards AFB. A-7D 70-1044, 124th Tac Fighter Squadron, Iowa Air National Guard at the Des Moines Air National Guard Base CF-101B 101010 of 409 Squadron based at CFB Comox A-4M 160245 from the Naval Weapons Center at NAS China Lake Thanks for looking, Sven
  3. Some 'happy snaps' of aircraft participating in the Edwards AFB Open House in October 1983. This installment show some of the home field aircraft. Part 2 will cover the visitors. F-15C No. 1, 78-0468, F-15 Combined Test Force, 6510th Test Wing, Air Force Flight Test Center. She was used as a test bed for potential F-15E Strike Eagle technologies at this time. YA-7D 67-14582, 6512th Test Squadron, 6510th Test Wing, Air Force Flight Test Center. She was used for test support by the 6512th, but also used as a stability and control, spins, and systems curriculum aircraft by the USAF Test Pilot School. The black quadrangles on top of the wings are aids for determining aircraft attitude during spins by optical trackers. F-15A 76-0086, F-15 Combined Test Force, 6510th Test Wing, Air Force Flight Test Center. She was a dedicated Anti-Satellite test bed. A-7D 69-6217, 6512th Test Squadron, 6510th Test Wing, Air Force Flight Test Center. A test support aircraft (safety chase, radar target). A-10A 73-1666, A-10 Combined Test Force, 6510th Test Wing, Air Force Flight Test Center O-2A 68-6867, 6512th Test Squadron, 6510th Test Wing, Air Force Flight Test Center. Used as a station hack and range support aircraft. B-1A 74-0160, B-1B Combined Test Force, 6510th Test Wing, Air Force Flight Test Center. F-111D 68-0087, 6512th Test Squadron, 6510th Test Wing, Air Force Flight Test Center. Doing a 'dump'n'burn' to start the aerial demonstrations Thanks for looking, Sven
  4. During the 1980s, NKC-135E s/n 55-3135 belonged to the 4950th Test Wing, Aeronautical Systems Division, Air Force Systems Command, stationed at Wright-Patterson AFB. The 6510th Test Wing, Air Force Flight Test Center, at Edwards AFB had no tankers assigned at the time. The solution was to provide a 4950th tanker to Edwards for use by the USAF Test Pilot School as a stability and control curriculum platform and use by the 6512th Test Squadron ("Test Ops") as tanker support for local test programs. Much of the time the tanker on loan was '135, with '128 occasionally filling in when '135 was not available. The tankers were flown crews from the Tanker/Transport Branch of Test Ops and maintained by local crews. 55-3135 started out as a JKC-135A, the "J" denoting a temporary test modification, and was used to support/observe nuclear weapons tests. Hence the many windows on the right side of the fuselage. At some point, someone realized that all those holes in the jet and whatever other modifications existed weren't easily removed, the criteria for a "J" prefix, and the designation of '135 was changed to NKC-135A, the "N" prefix denoting permanent test modifications. Later still, '135 was upgraded to NKC-135E by replacing the original J57 turbojet engines with TF33 turbofan engines. Enough blather? then on with the pics... January 1983 refueling F-16A 80-0550 June 1983 refueling F-15B 77-0166 April 1984 refueling B-1B test bed 74-0158 October 1984, static display for the Edwards AFB Open House January 1985 refueling FSD F-16A 75-0746 May 1985 refueling FSD F-16A 75-0746 May 1985 refueling F-4C 63-7409 June 1991. Where did all those "permanent" windows go? And notice the "ASD" tail band now reads "AFSC". The new Systems Command commander noted that other aircraft with this type of tail band carried the initials of the owning major command (mostly Military Airlift Command birds), rather than the initials of a unit lower on the organizational chart. So, he directed that all the ASD tail bands be changed to AFSC. I'd like to make an aerial diorama of '135 refueling a white-winged F-4E during a cruise missile chase mission, but I'm still trying to work out how to inconspicuously suspend the models. The image in my brain is a single acrylic rod supporting the tanker with the F-4 suspended from the tanker using a brass rod inside the refueling boom. Though I have my doubts that a brass rod that thin would sufficiently support an F-4 model. Hmmmm.... Thanks for looking, Sven
  5. F-15 77-0139 was assigned to the F-15 Combined Test Force (CTF) at Edwards AFB for its entire career. Its primary mission was engine testing of various modifications to the P&W F100 and how the engine behaved in the F-15. The F-15 CTF comprised cadre from AF Systems Command, McDonnell-Douglas, Pratt & Whitney, and occasionally, Tactical Air Command. The F-15 CTF was one of several CTFs (A-10, B-1, C-17, etc.) under the 6510th Test Wing of the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards. The designation of the Systems Command CTF component changed a few times throughout its life. Originally just identified as the AFSC component, in March 1989 it was given the designation 6515th Test Squadron. In October 1989, the new Chief of Staff of the Air Force decreed that all 4-digit unit designations be abolished, and the 6515th became the 415th Flight Test Squadron, assuming the heritage of the 415th Bomb Squadron. The parent wing, the 6510th Test Wing, became the 412th Test Wing. In 1994, F-15 flight test at Edwards had diminished and the 415th was absorbed into the 445th Test Squadron. Testing the A/A37 Aerial Gunnery Target System (carried by F-4E 66-0368), 1980 On static display for some VIP visitors, April 1983. Flying a bombing proficiency mission, July 1984. Most 6510TW aircraft were given "ED" tail codes in early 1984. Testing the new -229 variant of the F100 engine, April 1988. A single -229 was installed in the left engine bay and -100 in the right. On the F-15 CTF ramp in February 1989. Thanks for looking, Sven
  6. Some NASA F-104s from the '80s. All were stationed at the Dryden Flight Research Center located on Edwards AFB. F-104N N811NA, December 1981 F-104N N812NA, October 1982 - Edwards Open House JF-104A N818NA (USAF s/n 552961), July 1985 - Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum F-104G N820NA (Converted F-104A, USAF s/n 56-0790) March 1981 - DFRC flyable storage, no flight test nose boom or cannon port cover October 1988 - USAF Flight Test Center Museum TF-104G N825NA (ex-Luftwaffe, USAF s/n 66-13628) March 1981 September 1983 May 1990 F-104G N826NA (ex-Luftwaffe) March 1981 - Replacement nose cone and cannon port cover from the previous (1970s) NASA paint scheme September 1981 - Edwards Open house May 1984 September 1984. Test airfoil mounted on the aircraft centerline. October 1988 - Edwards AFB Open House Thanks for looking, Sven
  7. F-16A, USAF s/n 80-0550, was allocated off the production line to the F-16 Combined Test Force, 6510th Test Wing, Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards AFB as a stability and control, loads and flutter test airframe. I say flutter as one of the flight test disciplines, though in the '80s, the adage was that "the F-16 did not experience flutter" but, instead, limit cycle oscillations (LCO). So when you saw that wing tip vibrating away, it was the digital flight controls unable to keep up with the aerodynamic forces that were bending that wing - still looked like flutter to me. October 1982 - fitted with engineering mock-ups of the LANTIRN navigation and targeting pods testing aircraft flying qualities with the pods fitted and the airframe structural response. A lucky shot as we barrel rolled over him to set up for a test point. Gives a good view of the arrangement of load distribution straps and attachment fittings for the spin recovery parachute quadrapod. January 1983 - Continued LANTIRN pod effects testing. October 1983 - After being fitted with an F-16C vertical tail. February 1990 - Deeper pylons to accommodate AIM-7 Sparrows for testing compatibility with the F-16C configuration. January 1991 - Fitted with the spin recover parachute quadrapod Not '550 (she is in the background), but an image of the full spin recovery parachute apparatus. The red and blue canister contains the parachute and the deployment mortar. The parachute attachment harness comes out of a slot beneath the red canister section and attached to the quadrapod. The attachment fittings and straps on the fuselage distribute the forces from the deployed parachute so that the aft fuselage doesn't get ripped away when the chute yanks the tail up while the aircraft is falling through the air out of control. Thanks for looking, Sven
  8. Latest kit off the production line after the Corsair is my Monogram 1/48 A-37 Dragonfly built as an NA-37B used by the Test Pilots School at Edwards AFB. Having seen some pictures of these in posts by @Old Viper Tester I was really taken by the colour scheme, especially the pied USAF lettering on the starboard wing. I used decals from an old Superscale sheet for most of the markings but the pied USAF required masking and painting. The only additions to the kit are seats by Quickboost and the test probe which is a slightly modified example By Master which is designed for the F-16XL. Here are the pictures; Hope that you like her, thanks for looking and as usual all comments and criticisms are gratefully received. Craig.
  9. F-16B 78-0081 came to Edwards in 1989 from Luke AFB. Early model F-16s were being brought in to replace F-4s and A-7s in the test support role - radar targets and safety/photo chase for test aircraft. Test support was the mission of the 6512th Test Squadron of the 6510th Test Wing, Air Force Flight Test Center. In October 1992, at the behest of the USAF Chief of staff, 4-digit organization identifiers were abolished and the 6512TS became the 445TS (later FLTS) and the 6510TW became the 412TW. August 1989 - Shortly after arrival from Luke AFB. August 1990 June 1991 October 1991 September 1992 - The AF Materiel Command shield replaced the AF System Command shield on the tail as Systems Command and AF Logistics Command were merged to form Materiel Command in July 1992. The name inside the nose gear door is "TAZ DEVIL" Thanks for looking, Sven
  10. F-4E s/n 66-0291 is an ex-Thunderbird aircraft. She served as a test support aircraft at Edwards AFB from 1978 through 1991. Operated by the 6512th Test Squadron, throughout the early 1980s is was part of the Air Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM) chase flight, hence the white upper wings with the camouflage schemes. The N prefix indicating a permanent flight test modification was installed in/on the airframe. Doing her thing (1980?)... October 1982 January 1985 May 1985 October 1989 - received the "Bozo" white and red scheme in 1987. Thanks for looking, Sven
  11. Two F-16B of the 152nd Tac Fighter Squadron, 162nd Tac Fighter Wing, Arizona Air National Guard out of Tucson MAP visiting the F-16 Combined Test Force at Edwards AFB to participate in F-16 departure from controlled flight and recovery training, June 1991. 78-0109 78-0114 Thanks for looking, Sven
  12. An A-6E of VA-196, Bureau Number 161670, visiting Edwards AFB for USAF Test Pilot School qual missions, March 1984. During the Test Pilot School systems phase, various units would bring in their aircraft to allow the TPS students to fly qualitative (i.e. no test instrumentation) evaluation missions of various aircraft systems. In this instance, for evaluation by TPS Class 83B. Thanks for looking, Sven
  13. An A-4E of the Naval Fighter Weapons School out of NAS Miramar, Bureau Number 151095, on the Edwards AFB transient ramp, April 1985. Thanks for looking, Sven
  14. Warthog 78-0679 of the 356th Tac Fighter Squadron, 354th Tac Fighter Wing out of Myrtle Beach AFB at Edwards AFB, September 1983. Thanks for looking, Sven
  15. F-16B 80-0635 of the 6516th Test Squadron, F-16 Combined Test Force, 6510th Test Wing, Air Force Flight Test Center, Edwards AFB, August 1990. At this time, '635 was the dedicated test platform for a laser pod, "Coronet Prince". Coronet Prince carried a laser capable of disabling optical trackers as part of the suppression of enemy air defenses (SEAD) mission. The pod's sensor head would swivel and rotate with a low-power laser, searching for reflections, an indication of a lens or reflecting surface aimed at the aircraft. If the ground position of the reflection remained constant as the jet flew along, it was an indication that the lens/reflector was tracking the jet - or it was a spherical reflector. Having determined that it was being tracked, the pod operator would select high-power and the laser would fire pulses at the target location. During test flights, Coronet Prince successfully "burned" a tracking vidicon tube. We watched the video image as each pulse burned out portions of the receptor array until the entire screen went blank. The program was cancelled when funding ran out - it took longer than expected to get the aircraft integration and pod to operate as intended. Not surprisingly, the Coronet Prince laser was not eye-safe, thus the test program safety program and risk mitigations were considerable. We had to clear the target range of any potential reflectors and all personnel in the target area wore doubled-up laser goggles even though they were inside a trailer with the deployable sensor array. Note the pylon was restricted to use on '635 only as '635 was the only aircraft with the necessary modifications to interface with the Coronet Prince pod. Thanks for looking Sven Lesson learned: Never joke to the Safety Review Board about blinding endangered Desert Tortoises!!
  16. DC-130A, 57-0461, of the 4950th Test Wing, Aeronautical Systems Division out of Wright-Patterson AFB. On the Edwards AFB transient ramp, September 1984. This aircraft reportedly bounced back and forth between the USAF and the US Navy. Thanks for looking, Sven
  17. F-16D 83-1176 of the F-16 Combined Test Force, 6516th Test Squadron, 6510th Test Wing, Air Force Flight Test Center, Edwards AFB. August 1989. Name on the canopy is MAJ C THUESON. February 1990 December 1992 with AGM-65 Maverick missile training round. "My" jet... I think I only crewed her once or twice. John "Starman" Armor was the squadron Deputy for Operations and I was the Deputy for Engineering. The orange gear in the ammo drum bay is part of the MARS magnetic tape recording system for the aircraft instrumentation - all replaced with digital solid-state recorders 15-20 years ago. Thanks for looking and Happy New Year, Sven
  18. F-4E s/n 66-0329 was an ex-Thunderbird aircraft. She served as a test support aircraft at Edwards AFB from 1978 through 1991. Operated by the 6512th Test Squadron, throughout the early 1980s is was part of the Air Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM) chase flight, hence the white upper wings with the camouflage schemes. The N prefix indicating a permanent flight test modification was installed in/on the airframe. July 1984 - Over the Boron mine On the downwind for Runway 22 March 1985 May 1985 January 1989 October 1991 - Text on the cannon fairing reads "THE LOVE MACHINE" Thanks for looking, Sven
  19. F-16XL-2, 75-0747, operated by the F-16XL Combined Test Force, 6510th Test Wing, Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards AFB. Images are from a mission flown on 7 April 1983, possibly the only mission with this configuration. Streamlined fairings are installed on the wingtips in place of the 16S210 AIM-9 launch rails. Over Rogers Dry Lake on straight-in final approach to Runway 22. Thanks for looking, Sven
  20. A variety of T-33s on the Edwards AFB transient ramp. T-33A 52-9667, 123rd Fighter Interceptor Squadron, 142nd Fighter Interceptor Group, Oregon Air National Guard out of Portland IAP, September 1981. T-33A 53-5811, 194th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, 144th Fighter Interceptor Wing, California Air National Guard out of Fresno Yosemite Airport, August 1981. T-33A 53-5950, 123rd Fighter Interceptor Squadron, 142nd Fighter Interceptor Group, Oregon Air National Guard out of Portland IAP, August 1982. T-33A 57-0767, 84th Fighter Interceptor Training Squadron, 26th Air Division out of Castle AFB, August 1984. T-33A 58-0529, 95th Fighter Interceptor Training Squadron, 325th Fighter Weapons Wing, Air Defense Weapons Center out of Eglin AFB, March 1985 T-33A 58-0591, 95th Fighter Interceptor Training Squadron, 325th Fighter Weapons Wing, Air Defense Weapons Center out of Eglin AFB, March 1985 T-33A 58-0610, 5th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, 25th Air Division out of Minot AFB, January 1984. T-33A 58-0613, 48th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, 23rd Air Division out of Langley AFB, March 1985. T-33A 58-0618, 26th Air Division out of Luke AFB, January 1982. CT-133A Silver Star, 133542, unit unknown, Royal Canadian Air Force, March 1981. CT-133A Silver Star, 133467, 414 Electronic Warfare Squadron out of CFB North Bay, September 1981. Thanks for looking, Sven
  21. F-16XL-1, 75-0749, operated by the F-16XL Combined Test Force, 6510th Test Wing, Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards AFB. Images are from two separate missions flown on 12 October 1982. Even with the CBU-58s carried in tandem, the drag penalty was terrible. Sorry about the watermarks, but some of my images have been appropriated on other sites. Thanks for looking, Sven
  22. Images of F-16B, s/n 80-0635, when it was operating with the LANTIRN Combined Test Force at Edwards AFB. LANTIRN is an acronym for Low Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infrared for Night. The LANTIRN system consisted of two pods beneath the F-16 engine intake. On the left was the AN/AAQ-113 navigation pod (NVP) containing a terrain following radar and forward-looking infra-red sensor. On the right was the AN/AAQ-14 targeting pod (TGP) containing an infra-red sensor and a laser designation system. The LANTIRN CTF tested the LANTIRN system target designation, weapons delivery, and terrain following performance. Another important evaluation was what is referred to as the "pilot-vehicle interface" (PVI), the utility and human factors of the displays and controls as integrated into the F-16. The LANTIRN CTF operated beside the F-16 CTF and was part of the 6510th Test Wing, Air Force Flight Test Center. The LANTIRN test force was absorbed into the F-16 CTF in 1988. March 1984 The LANTIRN logo LANTIRN CTF shield There was a large version of the shield painted on a wall in the General Dynamics maintenance office with the tank illustration replaced with red outlined mountains on either side and a red F-16 bouncing between the mountain sides down the valley. "Havoc in the Dark" indeed. January 1989 Three tank "kills" added to the intake Interesting "kill" markings... Another LANTIRN CTF bird, 81-0688 The cannon ammo drum has been replaced with a flight test instrumentation tape recorder (there's no cannon in there either). Microscale did LANTIRN CTF markings for F-16B 81-0816 on sheet 72-256. Thanks for looking, Sven
  23. YA-7D s/n 67-14584 operated by the USAF Test Pilot School, 6510th Test Wing, Air Force Flight Test Center, Edwards AFB. October 1984 May 1985 The trapezoid markings on top of the wing are for optical tracking during TPS spin training/evaluation missions, making it easier to determine the aircraft attitude with ground-based optical trackers and cameras. TPS would spin the A-7 both upright and inverted. November 1991 September 1992 Like her sisters, she was retired to AMARG in September 1992 Thanks for looking, Sven
  24. Wing commander's jet, F-4E 69-0305, of the 414th Fighter Weapons Squadron (the F-4 Fighter Weapons School), 57th Fighter Weapons Wing, Tac Fighter Weapons Center, Nellis AFB. Seen visiting Edwards AFB, August 1984. Unusual presentation of the 57th tail code, "WA" Thanks fo looking, Sven
  25. T-38A operated by the 6512th Test Squadron, 6510th Test Wing, Air Force Flight Test Center, Edwards AFB. T-38s were used mostly as safety/photo chase for F-15 and F-16 test missions. Sometimes used as radar targets for airborne radar test missions. December 1983 January 1985 May 1985 February 1989 I really do wish someone would do a real T-38A/C in 1/72 scale. Hasegawa and other have marketed F-5Bs as T-38s. The Sword T-38 is close, but still has some F-5 details. Thanks for looking, Sven
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