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  1. KC-135R, s/n 61-0315, at Edwards in January 1985. Came to Edwards to participate in Minimum Interval Take-Off (MITO) tests with the 6510th Test Wing prototype KC-135R. Of course, once they were in the air they had to make themselves useful... Refueling NF-4D 66-7483 of the 6512th Test Squadron. The prototype KC-135R, 61-0293, ready for the Edwards Open House in October 1982. Wonder why they referred to her as Pinocchio? Thanks for looking, Sven
  2. May 1984 and F-111E, s/n 68-0058, from the 3246th Test Wing out of Eglin AFB was visiting Test Ops at Edwards. I don't remember what they were there for, but I was able to finagle the back seat in an T-38 as a safety chase for one of their missions in the R-2508 operating area over the Mojave desert. Here she is on an earlier visit in 1982. Note she doesn't have any formation ("slime") lights and the reference marks on the rear fuselage are white on the green portion of the camouflage and red on the tan area. The 3246th tail band is white with a series of red-orange diamonds runnin
  3. C-135C, USAF s/n 61-2669, of the 4950th Test Wing Detachment 1, Andrews AFB. These images taken at Edwards AFB in January 1982. The aircraft was known as Speckled Trout, accomplishing test missions for advanced communications and navigation systems. It was also the primary transport for the Chief of Staff of the USAF. The Trout often executed testing while performing VIP transport flights. Highly polished fuselage sides and fan sections of the engine nacelles. Infra-Red countermeasures units on each of the engine pylons... It's not o
  4. I had previously submitted some F-16XL images to Pappy's Skunk Models F-16XL WIP Unfortunately, with the Photobucket third party posting debacle, all of those image links have been broken. Anton K55 asked if I would repost them for reference in his build. Here is my best guess of what was posted earlier - I'm still working on cleaning up my XL slides for a more coherent posting. I had been posted as a flight test engineer to the F-16XL Combined Test Force after graduating from the USAF Test Pilot School. Made a right pest of myself with my camera from mid-1982 to earl
  5. Another test support fleet phantom with the 6512th Test Squadron at Edwards AFB. April 1985, aerial refueling from NKC-135E, s/n 55-3135, from the 4950th Test Wing, Aeronautical Systems Division out of Wright-Patterson. In the pre-contact position waiting for the boom operator to clear him in. On the boom, in the green, and taking fuel May 1985 and she's been misbehaving... roped off and getting maintenance on the Eddie ramp. That notice taped ahead of the forward formation slime light says the aircraft is impounded. Jump to 1988 and, like the
  6. Some images of s/n 87-0128 of the 6518th Test Squadron, Spec Ops Combined Test Force at Edwards AFB in 1991. I assume that's some kind of IR suppressor above and behind the engine exhaust. In the end they went with this, seen on 89--0510 which joined the CTF a year later Thanks for looking, Sven
  7. This is a highly modified Convair C-131 Samaritan, the Total In-Flight Simulator. The aircraft is a variable stability research platform for investigating flight control designs with the test cockpit in the forward drooping nose and the safety cockpit in the production cockpit. But the aircraft is also capable of doing sensors research via a modular nose unit that replaces the test cockpit with a large bulbous radome nose. The aircraft was assigned to the Air Force Flight Dynamics Laboratory at Wright-Patterson AFB, but was operated and maintained by the Calspan Corporation out of Buffalo New
  8. Shortly after arrival at Edwards with the 6516th Test Squadron, February 1990. Moved to the 6512th TS, Test Ops, as a dedicated test support jet, October 1991. Someone forgot the Flight Test Center tail band. On static display October 1992, Systems Command is no more and the AF Materiel Command shield is now on the tail. Safety chase training mission, December 1992. That's the AF Flight Test Center shield behind the canopy on this side. The 6510th Test Wing shield is on the opposite side. Over the Sierra Nevada footh
  9. Images of the MC-130H Combat Talon during flight test at Edwards. Many of the test organizations experienced name changes during my second tour at Edwards between 1988 and 1993. In the case of the Special Operations C-130s, they started out as the Special Operations Combined Test Force, or SpecOps CTF. Around 1989, a squadron structure was added to the CTFs. in the case of SpecOps, this was the 6518th Test Squadron. The 6518TS identified the Air Fore Systems Command contingent in the CTF working beside AFOTEC (operational test contingent), and the Lockheed/Raytheon (or was it still
  10. Tactical Air Warfare Center Detachment 5 was stationed at George AFB operating three F-4G Wild Weasels alongside the 37th Tactical Fighter Wing and, later, the 35th TFW. The Det 5 mission was operational testing and tactics development for the Wild Weasels. S/n 69-7235, the test team flagship, 1992 Note the pod in the right forward missile well. In 1990 with shading on the tail characters and a 'deep' ALQ-131 in the left forward missile well. S/n 69-7206, 1992 In 1990, here with the AGM-88 carriage adapter and the pod under the intake app
  11. One of my A-10 flight tests in 1984-85 with the 6512th Test Squadron. The A-10 Combined Test Force at Edwards AFB was shut down at the end of 1983. The remaining A-10 test programs and two A-10s were turned over to the 6512th. When the test programs were completed in mid-1985, the A-10s were sent to the 3246th Test Wing at Eglin AFB as part of a consolidation of Systems Command A-7Ds at Edwards and A-10s at Eglin. '666 was my Ground Proximity Warning System (GPWS, pronounced jip-wiz) test jet. A program aimed at reducing controlled flight into terrain incidents. The A-10 GPWS consi
  12. '407 was referred to as "The Elder", being the first F-4C built for the USAF. It spent it's whole life as a test and test support jet in USAF's Air Force Systems Command bouncing between the 3246th Test Wing at Eglin AFB and the 6510th Test Wing at Edwards AFB, finishing up at the latter. All of the air-to-air shots were taken on May 3, 1985. '407 transferred to Edwards in Feb 1985. The Armament Division tail code, AD, had been modified to the 6510th Test Wing tail code, ED, by painting over the A and replacing it with an E. The maintenance fo
  13. The nom de guerre for this Phantom lies in its configuration. As it began life on the production line as an F-4D but was finished as the prototype F-4E. From the rear cockpit bulkhead aft it was essentially an F-4D, from that bulkhead forward it was an F-4E. In the 6512th Test Squadron, we maintained a unique flight manual denoting the differences and peculiarities of this airframe. Of course, the maintainers had unique manuals to keep this bird in shape. November 1981, shortly after returning to Edwards from Programmed Depot Maintenance at Ogden Air Logistics Center.
  14. I see that TheRealMrEd is working on a "Super SLUF" over in the WIP section: Maybe the pics below will provide some additional information/inspiration. The YA-7F was an attempt to create a faster close air support platform to supplement or replace the A-10. The old TF41 turbofan was replaced with a P&W F100 engine, the fuselage lengthened, the vertical tail enlarged, a leading edge root extension (LERX) added, and the horizontal tails "flipped" to create anhedral vs the original A-7's dihedral. In the end, the proposal was rejected in favor of using F-16s for fast respo
  15. As I noted in the Icing a Hog posting, when the A-10 Combined Test Force at Edwards AFB was shut down, we were told to do what we wanted with what remained after the engineering and history offices had retrieved what they wanted. I had found a number of slides in the back of a desk drawer. Here are more of those slides, cleaned up as best I could. This is one of the Northrop YA-9 aircraft, s/n 71-1368, used in the fly-off competition with the Fairchild A-10. The YA-9 lost the "Attack - Experimental" (AX) competition and both airframes eventually ended up on display. '368 is on disp
  16. Some detail shots of C-17 T-1 s/n 87-0025, at Edwards AFB in 1991, "T" indicating test... In the proposed Euro One camo of the early '80s... Flight test nose probe... Main gear sponson showing the positions of the opened gear doors... Main gear flight test instrumentation wiring (orange) Tufting was a plied to visualize the airflow under the wing root. Here it looks like the tufts have been removed, but the tape to hold the individual tufts remains\ Vertical tail with static pressure co
  17. This was one of my favorite Phantoms at Edwards AFB. '727 was one of the most reliable Phantoms in the 6510th Test Wing Fleet. Operated by the 6512th Test Squadron as a test support bird, she rarely cancelled a mission for maintenance (CNX MX - I don't think she ever cancelled when I was scheduled to crew her), and usually came back Code 1. Not bad for a 15 to 25 year old jet. This is a USAF photo showing her chasing the YC-15 in 1976. She wears light gull grey top sides and white undersides. Unlike the US Navy scheme, her control surface uppers are grey. Note the US Bicentennial '
  18. Not usually seen outside of the Sacramento, California area, this T-38, USAF s/n 60-0551, belongs to the flight test section of the Sacramento Air Logistics Center (SM-ALC). It's a unique markings make it one that I'd like to replicate if I ever get those Sword T-38s off the Shelf of Doom. Pics taken on the Edwards AFB transient ramp in August 1983. That ventral red stripe runs all the way back to the exhaust fairing. As the tail logo indicates, the SM-ALC flight test unit concerned itself with F-111 testing, Sacramento being
  19. The 6512th Test Squadron, aka "Test Ops", at Edwards AFB was responsible for providing test support to the major test teams under the 6510th Test Wing. While a test team like the F-16 Combined Test Force 'owned' their own test pilots and test aircraft, Test Ops provided support aircraft and crews as required. In the 1980s, Test Ops aircraft were primarily A-7Ds, A-37Bs, NKC-135s (often on detachment from the 4950th Test Wing at Wright-Patterson), various models of the F-4, and T-38s. Test Ops also performed what was referred to as 'Cats 'n' Dogs' testing. Usually small test programs that didn
  20. A disclaimer: this set is from my collection but are official Air Force Flight Test Center photos. The AFFTC reference numbers are on the images. When I moved from the F-16XL Combined Test Force (CTF) in 1984 to the 6512th Test Squadron (Test Ops), there were two clean-outs taking place. The A-10 CTF was closing, in part to make room for the Advanced Tactical Fighter CTF, the YF-22/YF-23 competition, and because A-10 development flight test was pretty much coming to an end. A quarter mile away, Test Ops was making room to accept the two remaining A-10 test programs that had to be c
  21. While stationed at Edwards AFB, I would occasionally drive over to Mojave Airport to see what the civilian flight test organizations had going on. Flight Systems International, Flight Research Inc, and Burt Rutan had operations at Mojave in addition to a few other smaller outfits. The National Test Pilot School was just starting up there. On Saturday morning, September 5, 1981, I pulled into the parking lot to see this: It was a new design to me, so I went out to the ramp to see what it was (you could just walk out there back then). Mojave was a great place to visit. A
  22. Just noticed that Sprue Brothers have the Hasegawa 1/72 NF-15B ACTIVE/IFC in stock. The Box photo shows it in NASA markings. When the aircraft first showed up at Edwards AFB it was as the Short TakeOff and Landing - Maneuvering Technology Demonstrator (STOL-MTD). I assume the Hasegawa kit has the stock cylindrical engine exhaust nozzles and some F-18 horizontal tails for the canards. Probably a lot of work to back date it to the STOL-MTD, but I'd like to try it some time. Here are some images of the aircraft arrival at Edwards in June 1989 - original configuration with two-dimensio
  23. The NT-33A, USAF s/n 51-4120, was a variable stability in-flight simulator. It was owned by the Air Force Flight Dynamics Laboratory and, later, the Air Force Research Laboratory. The aircraft was maintained and operated by Calspan Corporation of Buffalo New York, under contract to the USAF. This T-33A was modified in the late 1950s for flight controls investigations and simulating the flight characteristics of other aircraft designs. Schedule permitting, the aircraft was sometimes made available for contractor or foreign government evaluations, usually to correct anomalies found i
  24. Just a few images of Northrop flight test operations at Edwards AFB in the 1980s... F-5E, USAF s/n 71-1418, seen in 1983 with YAPS test nose boom fitted: Test missions without the nose boom in 1984: RF-5E, s/n 71-1420 I know its fuzzy, but it shows the placement of the camera aperture covers. Tiger motif on the vertical tail... Was it Airfix that did an RF-5E in 1/72? RF-5E, s/n 80-0334, in Malaysian markings. Ready to take Runway 22... RF-5E, s/n 84-0199, with
  25. I wasn't sure whether to put this topic here or in the photography forum where I usually post. This one has a lot more words than images, so thought it should go here. Between 1977 and 1987, flight test of the AGM-86 Air-Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM) was accomplished for full-scale development of the missile and subsequent upgrades. Many test launches took place in the Western Test Range off the California coast, the missile threading its way between population centers to impact on one of the land test ranges in the western United States. A typical mission would have the missile f
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