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NC-131H Total In-Flight Simulator (TIFS). She started out as an NC-131B Control Configured Vehicle, a variable stability aircraft with NASA. When NASA was done with her, she was  re-engined and redesigned as an NC-131H for the USAF Research Labs (AFRL). For as long as I can remember, she was owned by the Flight Dynamics Laboratory (FDL), but operated and maintained by The Calspan Corporation (originally Cornell Aeronautical Labs). The TIFS had a convertible nose. One nose contained an additional cockpit for a test aircrew as the aircraft flight controls could be programmed to simulate various aircraft configurations. A safety crew occupied the production cockpit, ready to take control should problems, usually instability, occurred. This configuration is shown below. The other available nose incorporated a large radome and could be used to test various sensors. The aircraft often was used for FDL flight test with the flying done be Calspan test crews. It was also occasionally used for USAF or Navy Test Pilot School student projects, with the students in the test cockpit and the Calspan crew serving as safety crew and system programmers.


Here she is on the Edwards AFB transient ramp in November 1984.

53-7793 calspan affdl KEDW 19841113 37cr


53-7793 calspan affdl KEDW 19841113 24cr


The variable stability cockpit. Just a few external structural reenforcement longerons...

53-7793 calspan affdl KEDW 19841112 26cr


53-7793 calspan affdl KEDW 19841113 21cr


53-7793 calspan affdl KEDW 19841113 22cr


53-7793 calspan affdl KEDW 19841113 23cr


She was retired in November 2008 and is now on display in the USAF Museum at Wright-Patterson AFB.


Thanks for looking,



(Hope I haven't posted this before.)

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4 hours ago, F-32 said:

I saw this one a couple of years ago

New evaluation cockpit enclosure compared to the 1984 images. Pretty sure the cockpit itself and the adapter structure are the same. When she was displayed in the old R&D Hagar, the bulbous sensor nose was on a trolley next to the aircraft.

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