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Sven,

 

I LOVE the ED coded F-16's in the white/red scheme! Thank you so much, as always, for sharing your photo collection with us. BTW, do you have any photos of the F-16B in the same scheme? I would love to do a 2-seater in this color scheme. I can't wait to see what your next photo installment is going to be!

Mike

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  • 9 months later...

Hey Sven,

 

Great pics, love the red/white Edwards test scheme. I am sorry for questioning you, as you are obviously the expert flying these birds, but are you sure that F-16A 78-0007 was assigned to the 6512th Test Squadron and not the 6516th TS (as this was the F-16 test sqn)? 

 

Thanks,

 

prinses

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4 hours ago, Prinses said:

I am sorry for questioning you, as you are obviously the expert flying these birds, but are you sure that F-16A 78-0007 was assigned to the 6512th Test Squadron and not the 6516th TS (as this was the F-16 test sqn)? 

When test support F-16s began to arrive at Edwards, a few (2-3?) were initially assigned to the 6516th while the 6512th geared up to manage them and maintenance on the main ramp (the 6516th was a separate ramp north of the main ramp) was established. Certainly, by 1992, all test support F-16s were operated under the 6512th. The images of '007 on the ramp are all in front of the Edwards large maintenance hangar, which is 6512th territory (used to be the F-111 and A-7 lines). And finally, when I took these images, we briefed test missions at the 6516th, but the support crews then went down the street to sign out at the 6512th. When I flew these birds, I also signed out at the 6512th.

 

When the decree went out that all USAF 4-digit squadron designations would be abolished (end of 1992) the 6512th became the 445th, the 6516th became the 416th, and the 6510th Test Wing became the 412th Test Wing.

 

There was a period (I don't know the exact dates - I had been transferred to Wright-Patterson by then) when the 445th was abolished (or maybe it was just reduced to T-38s?), as most of the aircraft types were common to the dedicated test squadrons and those squadrons took control of the 445th assets. The objective was to consolidate and simplify the 412th organization. A noble cause, but it was quickly - within a couple of months - determined that the span of control of the enlarged test squadrons, managing test support for other CTFs (e.g. F-16s provided as radar target support for F-15s), and managing remote maintenance (the F-16 CTF ramp was not large enough to accommodate the Bozo F-16s) was more than was practical, so the test support F-15s, F-16s and NKC-135s we're quickly placed back under the 445th.

 

Sven

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Hey Sven,

 

Thank you very much for the comprehensive clarification. I really appreciate it.

And I learned my lesson, never question the expert...😉

Did the aircraft specific test squadrons (i.e. the 6516th TS for the F-16 ) usually only have 3 or 4 aircraft assigned at a time?

 

Thanks again,

 

Prinses

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14 hours ago, Prinses said:

And I learned my lesson, never question the expert...😉

Did the aircraft specific test squadrons (i.e. the 6516th TS for the F-16 ) usually only have 3 or 4 aircraft assigned at a time?

Believe me, I'm completely fallible, and as my wife keeps reminding me, my memory is not as good as I think it is😉.

 

As for number of aircraft in each test squadron, it varied by type and phase of testing. When I was at the F-16 CTF, we had as many as twenty aircraft around 1988

F-16 CTF 1988 cropped

 

IIRC, the F-15 CTF had five F-15A/B/C/D and three F-15E in the late '80s. C-17 had two aircraft.

 

Sven

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That's one heck of a pic! :clap: :thumbsup:

Where were you? In the crowd or behind the camera?

 

Ciao

Edited by giemme
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22 hours ago, giemme said:

Where were you? In the crowd or behind the camera?

I should have noted this is an Air Force Flight Test Center photo. It was taken a couple of months before I returned to Edwards from the UK.

 

F-16 CTF 1988 w callouts hr

 

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