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Old Viper Tester

Space Shuttle Landing Simulators

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In the 1980s, Space Shuttle crews would come to Edwards AFB to practice landing approaches to Runway 22 and Rogers dry lake. They would use modified T-38s and Gulfstreams Its...

 

N946NA with two airfoil panels beneath the mid-fuselage and optics "dog house" in front of the windscreen

Gulfstream II nasa N946NA KEDW 19830729 25cr

 

N947NA with same modifications

Gulfstream II nasa N947NA KEDW 19810800 13cr

 

The airfoils would rotate to provide variable drag increases for 'low L-over-D' flight profiles

Gulfstream II nasa N947NA KEDW 19810800 14cr

 

Gulfstream II nasa N947NA KEDW 19810800 15cr

 

And the T-38 chase birds with increased area speed brakes. T-38A, USAF s/n 65-10354, NASA N912NA. Note this one still carries the red diamonds tail band from its previous life with the 3246th Test Wing at Eglin AFB.

65-10354 nasa N912NA KEDW 19820500 17cr

 

USAF s/n 65-10355, NASA N913NA

65-10355 nasa N913NA KEDW 19820500 20cr

 

66-8355 nasa N923NA KEDW 19820500 07cr

 

65-10354 nasa N912NA KEDW 19820500 14cr

 

USAF s/n 65-10351, NASA N909NA, showing the production speed brakes

65-10351 nasa N909NA KEDW 19830729 03cr

USAF s/n 65-10326, NASA N906NA, in the background shows that it is also an ex-Eglin jet.

 

fundecals makes a NASA T-38 decal sheet in 1/48 scale with these talons, and a bunch of others, including the diagonal striped panels for the speed brakes. Wish they would do the same sheet in 1/72, even though we still don't have a "real" T-38 kit in the gentlemen's scale.

 

Thanks for looking,

Sven

Edited by Old Viper Tester

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I have photos of one of those simulators taken at ELP Airport.  They doing training around White Sands, NM in November 1976.  

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You nailed the problem, we still don't have a proper T-38 to make us 1/72 modellers happy !

And the best we have, that is the Sword kit, is not easily available. And when it's available it's generally the C version.

This is one subject for which I'm now moving to 1/48 scale, where there's a great kit from Wolfpack. This can often be found for good prices in Far East online shops, so much that I've found them to be cheaper than the Sword 1/72 kit..

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Posted (edited)

Can highly recommend 'Into the Black' by Rowland White - great book about development & first flight of the Space Shuttle and includes chapters on these aircraft and the challenges of flying chase planes with the shuttle.

 

Sorry for the thread creep!

 

Dermot

Edited by Dermo245
My mistake spelling

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14 hours ago, thevid said:

I have photos of one of those simulators taken at ELP Airport.  They doing training around White Sands, NM in November 1976.

Hi David,

 

At first your comment surprised me - didn't think they had been doing these ops that long before the Enterprise free flight. But then, why not?  They knew what the design looked like in 1976 and they certainly needed to figure out the approach profiles for Kennedy, White Sands, and Edwards at some point. Better sooner than latter.

 

Thanks,

Sven

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Would love to model one of the NASA Gulfstream IIs - there doesn't seem to be a kit though. The nearest is the Broplan GIII, which could be converted. I can feel an interesting project coming on...

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On ‎09‎/‎01‎/‎2018 at 15:20, Old Viper Tester said:

Hi David,

 

At first your comment surprised me - didn't think they had been doing these ops that long before the Enterprise free flight. But then, why not?  They knew what the design looked like in 1976 and they certainly needed to figure out the approach profiles for Kennedy, White Sands, and Edwards at some point. Better sooner than latter.

 

Thanks,

Sven

 Enterprise's glide tests were in 1977 so just the following year.

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18 hours ago, Eric Mc said:

Enterprise's glide tests were in 1977 so just the following year.

Stand corrected. Guess I was thinking of the first space launch.

 

Sven

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Here's a shot of the test aircraft.  

 

EL%20Paso_NASA%20Shuttle%20Trainer_Nov%2

cc_zpslmrdjguo.jpg

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6 hours ago, thevid said:

Here's a shot of the test aircraft.  

 

EL%20Paso_NASA%20Shuttle%20Trainer_Nov%2

cc_zpslmrdjguo.jpg

El Paso, Texas. November 1976.  

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