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Found 49 results

  1. Old Viper Tester

    F-16XL Aerial Refueling

    Refueling F-16XL #2, 75-0747, assigned to the F-16XL Combined Test Force (CTF), 6510th Test Wing, Air Force Flight Test Center, Edwards AFB. The KC-10A was out of March AFB. This event taking place at dusk over the Sierra Nevada foothills, March 1983. XL-2 in pre-contact position, waiting for clearance from the "boomer". I can still hear the boomer softly singing "Boom Operator" to the tune of "Smooth Operator" during this event. Taking fuel, couldn't see the boom from my position in the boom operator's station. This image was used in the CTF to emphasize the "C" stood for "Combined". The pilots wear the patches of AF Systems Command and Tactical Air Command. Other players in the CTF were AF Operational Test Center, General Dynamics, Pratt & Whitney, and General Electric. Disconnect from the boom as the sun gets lower. Thanks for looking, Sven
  2. Old Viper Tester

    Just Passing Through: 141TFS F-4D

    F-4D, 65-0631 of the 141st Tac Fighter Squadron, New Jersey Air National Guard. On the Edwards AFB transient ramp in January 1982. Thanks for looking, Sven
  3. Old Viper Tester

    T-38A 70-1558

    T-38 70-1558, operated by the 6512th Test Squadron, 6510th Test Wing, Air Force Flight Test Center, Edwards AFB. On the Edwards main ramp, March 1981. Formation proficiency mission, July 1984. That's Rogers Dry Lake below. Air Force Systems Command (AFSC) badge added to the tail. On approach to Runway 22. The dashed lines on the lakebed indicate an emergency runway. The solid line is a reference for doing Tower Fly-By passes, a pitot static calibration technique. Thanks for looking, Sven
  4. Old Viper Tester

    T-38A 68-8158

    T-38A 68-8158, operated by the 6512th Test Squadron, 6510th Test Wing, Air Force Flight Test Center, Edwards AFB. Formation proficiency mission, August 1984. Modified downwind, extending for a formation landing. Edwards main base below. On approach to landing over the dry lake. Formation landing. May 1985. Air Force Systems Command (AFSC) shield added on the tail. '158 as the Test Center Commander's bird, Brig Gen Roy D. Bridges - even the equipment storage box is marked - September 1992. Air Force Logistics Command and AFSC had just merged to form Air Force Materiel Command, the shield that now appears on the tail. In another month or so, the USAF Chief of Staff wanted all 4-digit unit designations abolished, so the 6512th Test squadron became the 445th Flight Test Squadron, and the 6510th Test Wing became the 412th Test Wing. Thanks for looking, Sven
  5. Old Viper Tester

    Just Passing Through: VC10

    ZA144 of 101 Squadron, Edwards AFB transient ramp, August 1984. Never did find out why she stopped in. Thanks for looking, Sven
  6. Old Viper Tester

    Edwards AFB Phantom Pharewell

    RF-4Cs 63-7744 and 65-0850, the last two Phantoms to fly out of Edwards AFB, 24 June 1992. The two were operated by the 6512th Test Squadron, 6510th Test Wing, Air Force Flight Test Center. Heading for storage at AMARG, Davis-Monthan AFB with three bags full - one of the few times these jets carried stores. For at least 15 years, the RF-4Cs at Edwards were used as curriculum aircraft for the USAF Test Pilot School, primarily as stability and control/flying qualities demonstrators and data collection aircraft. Since the curriculum included test points at Mach 1.4, the jets almost always flew without stores or pylons. Thanks for looking, Sven
  7. Old Viper Tester

    NF-4E 66-0289

    F-4E s/n 66-0289 is an ex-Thunderbird and served as a test support aircraft at Edwards AFB, 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. Safety chase proficiency mission, August 1984. That's a deer silhouette in grey on the left intake vari-ramp. In January 1984 we took '289 to Eglin AFB. On landing we took a deer down the left side damaging the external tank and the main gear door. We left the jet for repairs and when we came back ten days later, the Eglin maintenance troops had applied the deer kill marking and the legend "DEER SLAYER" in 2-inch block letters on the cannon fairing - barely visible in the image above, beneath the air conditioning ram air scoop. Practice weapon delivery, rolled inverted and pulling to the desired dive angle. Formation final approach to Runway 22 Taxiing in after a few fly-bys at the Edwards Open House, October 1989 July 1990 The deer kill marking. That's me in a posed "hero" shot for the squadron album in 1984. '289 is now on display in thunderbird colors at the Castle Air Museum. Thanks for looking, Sven
  8. F-4C of the 163rd Tac Fighter Squadron, Indiana Air National Guard, on the Edwards AFB transient ramp, October 1983. 122FW squadron bands on the rudder, from top to bottom: 113th Tac Fighter Squadron (Human Field, Terre Haute, Indiana), 184th Tac Fighter Squadron (Fort Smith, Indiana), and 163rd Tac Fighter Squadron (Fort Wayne, Indiana). Thanks for looking, Sven
  9. F-15B, 77-0166, modified as the test bed for the Integrated Flight and Fire Control (IFFC) system. The IFFC tied the fire control system to the flight controls. In theory the system would automatically maneuver the aircraft to an "optimum" weapon employment position on a locked radar or targeting pod bogey (the pilots loved that idea) or it would provide steering cues in the HUD for the pilot to follow. The targeting pod used was an ATLIS pod. The system made news when '166 made a guns kill on a PQM-102 drone in what was essentially a head on engagement. A tracking camera caught a photo of '177 and the flaming drone in the same frame passing each other. Anyway, I got to do a formation proficiency flight with this jet in June 1983... The orange fixture over the missile launcher is the suspension rig for the ATLIS pod On a similar mission in 1985 The IFFC project emblem ... and some McAir images of the same jet Thanks for looking, Sven
  10. Two F-15As of the 59th Tac Fighter Squadron on the Edwards AFB transient ramp, April 1984. 76-0009 76-0018 Thanks for looking, Sven
  11. Old Viper Tester

    F-4D 66-7483

    F-4D 66-7483 operated by the 6512th Test Squadron at Edwards AFB during a formation proficiency mission in February 1985. Thanks for looking, Sven
  12. Old Viper Tester

    YF-4E 65-0713

    USAF s/n 65-0713 is the prototype for the F-4E Phantom II. It was used for flight test evaluations of the E model configuration and then used as a development test bird through the 1970s and finally as a test support aircraft at Edwards AFB through the 1980s. The aircraft started out as an F-4D on the McAir production line and modified to represent the E. It is essentially an F-4E from the rear cockpit bulkhead forward and a D model fuselage from that bulkhead aft. Fitted with the J79-GE-17 engines. Here she is in the early 1970s testing development cluster bomb dispensers. She has store separation cameras under the outer wing panels, a flight test nose boom, and the early short cannon fairing. Note that she also has a Boron composite construction rudder for a long-term durability evaluation. Late 1970s in the test support mission, here used as a tow target tractor with RMK-19 target suspension/towing equipment. Note the shark mouth and the long cannon muzzle fairing. Because the shark mouth was not officially authorized by the USAF, every time she went to Hill AFB for Programmed Depot Maintenance, she cam back to Edwards without the shark mouth. The Edwards maintenance personnel would eventually replace the shark mouth each time - here with fewer and larger teeth than the earlier version. Here she is in September 1981 after being put on static display for the Edwards Open House. December 1983 April 1984, returning to Edwards from Hill AFB after a practice B61 delivery profile mission. The store is an instrumented B61 Flight Test Vehicle. because she had no external tanks, we flew the delivery profile on the Utah test and Training Range and then landed at nearby Hill AFB to refuel before heading back to Edwards. Blow up of the B61 FTV We were a little fast on the rejoin, so we barrel rolled over '713 so's not to over-shoot her. May 1985 on the Edwards main ramp January 1989 January 1990 over Edwards November 1991 (I know the copyright notice says 1981, I have to fix that), shortly before being retired as a display aircraft for the Flight Test Center Museum at Edwards. Serial number on the tail is smaller than the previous years. Thanks for looking, Sven
  13. Old Viper Tester

    F-16A 78-0064

    78-0064 of the F-16 Combined Test Force, 6510th Test Wing, Air Force Flight Test Center. Digital Electronic Engine Control testing, February 1983 August 1983 Penguin integration testing, 1987. Non-standard location of the AFFTC shield on the tail where the AF Systems Command shield should be located. No longer a test jet and relegated to test support with the 6512th Test Squadron, November 1991. September 1992, AF Systems Command is no more and the AFFTC is now part of AF Materiel Command, hence the change in tail shield. Thanks for looking, Sven
  14. Most of these are USAF images recovered during the A-10 Combined Test Force shut down Wish I had dates for the USAF images. Apparently you can build this jet with production or modified vertical tails... Those pods (below) are precursors to the LANTIRN system used on the F-16 and F-15E... Those pods again... Taller tails... The museum piece on display at the 1988 Edwards Open House. No seats, no engines. Waiting for the Flight Test Museum to be built... Thanks for looking, Sven
  15. Old Viper Tester

    F-16C 83-1120

    F-16C, USAF s/n 83-1120, the third of a trio of F-16As modified on the production line to be the first Block 30 configured jets. 83-1118, '119, and '120 all went to the F-16 Combined Test Force at Edwards as flight test jets, testing Block 30 software and radar upgrades as well as variations in ECM/ESM fit. '120 was unique in being fitted with the GE F110 engine and high angle-of-attack mission equipment. January 1989 May 1989 Over the Trona Gap in the Mojave Desert June 1991 Thanks for looking, Sven
  16. Old Viper Tester

    Test Support A-7D - 69-6217

    A-7D, s/n 69-6217, was a support jet with the 6512th Test Squadron at Edwards AFB. It was primarily used as a trainer for the USAF Test Pilot School (TPS) and as a support aircraft for other aircraft test flights, usually F-15s or F-16s. October 1983, loaded up for an open house static display August 1984 safety chase proficiency mission. I'm in the RCP of an F-4. During the mission we trade off providing chase coverage for each other. July 1989 during a weapons delivery proficiency mission. The trapezoid markings on top of the wing are for optical tracking during TPS spin training/evaluation missions, making it easier to identify the top of the aircraft with ground-based cameras. TPS would spin the A-7 both upright and inverted. On the run-in to the target Just released a BDU-33 practice bomb January 1989 September 1992 - all will be gone in 1993 Thanks for looking, Sven
  17. 75-0751 was the longest serving FSD F-16 in basic flight test. Primarily used for stability and control evaluations, it also was used for an early program for demonstrating high angle-of-attack and departures (spins) behavior to operational flight crews that would come to Edwards specifically for the "E-ticket" flights with test pilots serving as the instructors. July 1982, "High-Alpha" mission with the departure recovery parachute package, AKA "spin chute", carried above the engine exhaust nozzle on a quadrapod. July 1982, on the tanker during a High-Alpha mission. During these missions it wasn't unusual to hit the tanker in between test points several times in order to keep the aircraft center of gravity within a specified range. Engineers in the mission control facility used a fuel-burn "map" real-time to determine the center of gravity location based on total fuel quantity. Center of gravity location is critical in most all aircraft as the further aft the CG, the more longitudinally unstable the aircraft. November 1982, with 'yarn' tufts installed on the wings and vertical tail to visualize air flow over the flight surfaces. Note the aircraft still has the original Stencel ejection seats. I don't think she ever got the ACES II seats installed. June 1983, ready for another High Alpha mission March 1984, yet another High-Alpha mission March 1990, ready to taxi November 1990, on the tanker's wing during another High-Alpha mission. The characteristic red head rest covers of the Stencel seats. Thanks for looking, Sven
  18. Old Viper Tester

    Test Support Viper - 78-0007

    Another from the 6512th Test Squadron Bozo Fleet Over the then new Edwards control tower Thanks for looking, Sven
  19. Old Viper Tester

    RF-4C 63-7744

    Just a few images from a proficiency mission in September 1984. Her designation would be changed to NRF-4C to indicate permanent test modifications in 1986. Thanks for looking, Sven
  20. Old Viper Tester

    Test Support Viper - 78-0085

    Pretty sure 78-0085 came to Edwards from Luke AFB. 78-0085 carried the name FIREBIRD on the inside of the nose gear door when it arrived and the name remained when she was repainted. December 1991, we are on a solo mission in F-16D s/n 83-1176, and were called to join up with '085, also on a solo mission, because they had an unsafe gear indication in the cockpit. Nose and left gear up and locked, right gear indicating still in transition. Here, we've come aboard. Note the gear doors aren't completely closed The gear is up, but the right main gear door is still open Selecting gear down and checking the gear extension The gear looks good. Don't remember if they had a down and locked, i.e. "three green", indication or not. Elected to return to base. On our wing over Rogers Dry Lake on straight-in final for landing. Note that we had a wing tip launcher from one of the Bozo Fleet jets and '085 had two grey launchers. Giving them the lead to land while we continue our mission. Saw them through to safe landing and then we continued into the operating area for our mission. Thanks for looking, Sven
  21. USAF s/n 78-0088, taxiing in to the 6516th Test Squadron ramp, August 1989. That's a General Dynamics crew chief. Crew showing hands clear in the cockpit while chocks are put in place. On the 6512TS support fleet ramp, July 1990. She carries the name MISS PIGGY inside the nose gear door With tanks, October 1991... ... and the name's been changed to "CRAZY EIGHT". Thanks for looking, Sven
  22. Old Viper Tester

    NC-135A

    NC-135A, USAF s/n 60-0371, of the 4950th Test Wing, Aeronautical Systems Division, Air Force Systems Command. October 1983, taking off from Edwards AFB Runway 22 with the Integration Facility for Avionics Systems Test (IFAST) in the background. Making a pass over the runway. Smoke generator running between the main gear wells? Optical resolution patterns on the forward fuselage. Sensor aperture in the raised panel? Aeronautical Systems Center shield below the cockpit windows - Systems Command shield is on the opposite side.. Thanks for looking, Sven
  23. Old Viper Tester

    B-1A Ship #2

    The B-1A program was cancelled under President Carter in 1979. The decision was based on the high cost, the success of the Air Launched Cruise Missile indicating that a penetrating bomber may no longer be required, and the promised of the Stealth Bomber (B-2) program. Faced with delays and rising costs of the Stealth Bomber President Reagan resurrected the B-1 program as the B-1B in 1981. The aircraft had many improvements in avionics capabilities and some trade-offs in high-altitude performance compared to the original B-1A. While waiting for B-1B test airframes, the USAF elected to get a leg up on testing with the original prototypes, with suitable modifications. These images show Ship No. 2, s/n 74-0159 after being painted as the program flag ship in 1983-84. Couldn't adjust the focus fast enough Thanks for looking, Sven
  24. Old Viper Tester

    F-16A 75-0746

    May 1985: Just a little off the beaten path... a USAF F-16 with a parabrake housing. 75-0746 was a Full-Scale Development airframe built to the original Norwegian AF specification - hence the tail fairing. It was also used for a lot of structures testing, so the airframe took a beating. All of those g's took their toll on the airframe. They were always replacing panels and patching fuel leaks. Gotta love the putty job on the back. They are tough to see, but there are wedge shaped blocks on top of the noses of the external tanks with wiring running back into the pylons - those are accelerometer housings used to measure the frequency and amplitude of the tank motion (wing deformation) during maneuvers. Refueling from NKC-135E, s/n 55-3135 April 1983, testing Penguins Things under wings: In 1983, '746 was used to evaluate what was called an MPP (Your guess what it stood for is as good as mine). The MPP was an attempt to increase the weapons carriage of the F-16. The MPP didn't catch on. Don't know what this suspension unit was, but it may have been a competitor with the MPP. Looks like an ancestor of the BRU-61 Small Diameter Bomb rack. Thanks for looking, Sven
  25. Old Viper Tester

    384th Air Refueling Wing KC-135R

    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
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