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The North Spin is looking for volunteer writers and/or photographers. If you have an idea for a news piece or full length article, please email your idea for consideration to: dave@thenorthspin.com Articles need to be related to flight test in some way, either historic or modern day. Original photography is welcome, but not always necessary. Good writing and photography skills are mandatory. Industry insiders are especially encouraged to submit material. Thanks!


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Latest Test News
5/13/2009 - NASA Gulfstream 950NA Joins the Airborne Laser Program

Recently NASA's Gulfstream II '950NA' was spotted wearing a unique new 'target' paint scheme. This new look may seem odd, but it serves a specific purpose. Full Story

5/5/2009 - Boeing Unveils US Navy Paint Scheme for P-8A Poseidon

The first painted P-8A Poseidon aircraft rolls out of the paint hangar at Boeing's Renton, Wash., facility, displaying its new U.S. Navy livery. The aircraft, designated T-2, is the third of five test aircraft being assembled and tested as part of the System Development and Demonstration contract that Boeing received in 2004. Full Story

4/30/2009 - Arctic Trek to 'Break the Ice' on New NASA Airborne Radars

NASA will 'break the ice' on a pair of new airborne radars that can help monitor climate change when a team of scientists embarks this week on a two-month expedition to the vast, frigid terrain of Greenland and Iceland. Full Story

4/29/2009 - Next USN Maritime Patrol Plane Makes First Flight

P-8A Poseidon, the Navy’s next maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft, took to the skies for the first time April 25. The first test aircraft, designated T1, successfully completed a series of flight checks in Seattle. The aircraft took off from Renton Field and landed 3 hours and 31 minutes later at the nearby Boeing Field. Full Story

4/27/2009 - F-35 'AG-1' Arrives in the United Kingdom for Static Testing

After a three-week ocean voyage, a static-test version of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter, has arrived in the United Kingdom. Full Story

4/16/2009 - NAVAIR / Northrop Team Build Three F-5F "Franken-Tigers"

A NAVAIR and Northrop Grumman team designed and built three F-5F Franken-Tiger Adversary aircraft to meet an urgent Fleet requirement. The F-5F Franken-Tiger was built using parts from a Navy two-seat F-5F Tiger II aircraft and from single-seat, former Swiss Air Force, F-5E aircraft. Full Story

4/13/2009 - Continued Testing with NASA's WB-57 #926

NASA's WB-57 #926 has recently been spotted with new, fairly extensive modifications, which appear to have been added to the aircraft in late 2008, early 2009. The most noticeable new features are a larger nose radome, which possibly houses a new radar, and a long thin radome mounted on the front side of the fuselage. Full Story

4/9/2009 - Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility Dedicated to Earth, Space Science

NASA dedicated its new Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility in Palmdale, Calif., a world-class facility that is home to several specialized NASA Earth and space science aircraft, during ceremonies on Thursday, April 9. Full Story

4/3/2009 - NASA Dryden Director Kevin Petersen Retires

Kevin L. Petersen, director of NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center, retired from NASA, effective April 3. A veteran aerospace engineer and manager with 38 years experience at NASA Dryden, Petersen has served as the center’s director for more than 10 years and is the longest-serving field center director currently at NASA. Full Story

3/28/2009 - Dust Devils Bring the Growler to Red Flag

The VX-31 "Dust Devils" participated in Red Flag 09-3 at Nellis AFB recently and brought their EA-18G #500, among other Hornets. VX-31is based at China Lake NAWS and works mainly on testing various weapons. Their role at Red Flag focused on SEAD. Full Story

3/25/2009 - Formation Flight of Six C-17s Made for Flight System Test

The Global Reach Combined Test Force concluded a colossal mission of performing a formation test with six C-17 Globemaster IIIs March 14 and 17. As the newest, most flexible cargo aircraft to enter the airlift fleet, the C-17 is capable of rapid strategic delivery of troops and cargo to main operating bases or directly to forward bases in deployed environments. Full Story

3/25/2009 - Test Pilot David Cooley Tragically Killed in F-22A Crash

An Air Force F-22A crash today and claimed the life of a USAF veteran and Lockheed Martin test pilot. David Cooley, 49, of Palmdale, Calif., died when the F-22A he was piloting crashed northeast of Edwards AFB. Cooley worked as a test pilot with Lockheed Martin, and was employed at the 411th Flight Test Squadron, 412th Test Wing, on Edwards AFB. Cooley joined Lockheed Martin in 2003 and was a 21-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force. Full Story

3/20/2009 - 85th Test & Evaluation Squadron Fields Combat Proven Technology

When operational test pilots of the 85th Test and Evaluation Squadron break something in an airborne fighter jet, it's a good day. It means they found a deficiency in a new capability that will be addressed before it goes to fighter pilots flying real-world missions. Full Story

3/19/2009 - First U.S. Marine Pilots Lockheed Martin F-35

Maj. Joseph T. "O.D." Bachmann today became the first U.S. Marine Corps pilot to fly the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, logging the flight-test program’s 90th mission. He is the fifth pilot to fly the stealthy, multi-role fighter. Full Story

3/18/2009 - Only Three Remain for H-3 Sea King 50th Anniversary

The H-3 Sea King helicopter community celebrated the 50th anniversary of the aircraft’s historic first flight March 11. The Sea King is a twin-engine, all-weather, amphibious helicopter used for numerous roles that include anti-submarine warfare, anti-ship warfare, search and rescue, transport, communications, airborne early warning and executive transport. Full Story

3/12/2009 - Developmental Test Pilots First Step in Advancing the Warfighter

What the movie "Top Gun" did for fighter pilots, "The Right Stuff" did for test pilots. But developmental test pilots at Eglin Air Force Base say test flying has come a long way since the early days depicted in the movie. Full Story

3/11/2009 - Joint Navy F/A-18 Testing at Benefield Anechoic Facility Complete

The 772nd Test Squadron teamed up with Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake in a joint effort to complete antenna pattern testing on a Navy F/A-18C Hornet at the Benefield Anechoic Facility at Edwards on Jan. 22. Full Story

3/10/2009 - JDAM Adds Precision Punch to the Reaper

The already lethal MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aircraft system will soon bring even more punch to the enemy in the form of the Joint Direct Attack Munition. The results of the series of GBU-38 JDAM test drops at the China Lake test range in California are still being evaluated, but they mark a significant step in certifying the Reaper to carry the 500-pound version of the JDAM. Full Story

2/25/2009 - MANPADS Testing Means More Survivable Aircraft

The Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division Weapons Survivability Lab (WSL) at China Lake recently developed and verified the capability to accurately and realistically test, evaluate, and document the effects of a Man Portable Air Defense System (MANPADS) impact on aircraft in an effort to make them more survivable. Full Story

2/18/2009 - 416th FLTS First AFMC Unit to Participate at Red Flag

The 416th Flight Test Squadron "Skulls" conquered the vast bombing and gunnery ranges of Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., as they participated in Red Flag 09-2 from Jan. 26 to Feb. 6, marking the first time an Air Force Materiel Command unit has ever deployed and participated in the exercise. Full Story

1/22/2009 - Lancets Flights Probe Supersonic Shockwaves

NASA is concluding a series of flight tests to measure shock waves generated by an F-15 jet, in an effort to validate computer models that could be used in designing quieter supersonic aircraft. Full Story

1/15/2009 - NASA Debuts Global Hawk Autonomous Aircraft for Earth Science

NASA and Northrop Grumman Corporation have officially unveiled the first Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system to be used for environmental science research, heralding a new application for the world’s first fully autonomous high-altitude, long-endurance aircraft. Full Story

1/12/2009 - C-5M Super Galaxy Completes Developmental Testing in Alaska and Australia

The C-5M Super Galaxy completed its second and final Integrated Systems Evaluation test, flying a 56-hour, 27,000-mile mission around the Pacific Rim, including stops in Alaska and Australia.
Full Story

12/9/2008 - Lockheed and USAF Test Pilot School Conduct First Successful Autoland of F-16

Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., have successfully demonstrated an autonomous landing of the F-16 Fighting Falcon, marking the first time an F-16 has landed entirely under computer control. Full Story

12/7/2008 - New Navy Range Support Helicopters for VX-31 "Dust Devils"

For a number of years, one of the additional responsibilities of the VX-31 "Dust Devils" has been flying the Base Flight Range Support and SAR mission for the China Lake Range. Until recently this mission was typically flown using one of the red and white HH-1N helicopters maintained by the squadron at China Lake NAWS. Full Story

11/14/2008 - USAF 40th FLTS Makes First GBU-54 LJDAM Drop from A-10

The 40th Flight Test Squadron, with support from the 46th Test Wing, Boeing and a host of other units, flew a quick yet historic mission early in November. For the first time, a guided bomb GBU-54, the Laser Joint Directed Attack Munition, or LJDAM, was dropped from an A-10C. Full Story

11/13/2008 - E-2D Advanced Hawkeye Completes First Operational Assessment

The E-2D Advanced Hawkeye completed its first Operational Assessment ahead of schedule at Northrop Grumman's St. Augustine Manufacturing Center, St. Augustine, Fla., Oct. 28. Full Story

11/12/2008 - NAWCWD Point Mugu - China Lake Shuttle Program Recognized

Rear Adm. David Dunaway, Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division commander, recently recognized the men and women of the NAWCWD Metro III shuttle program, who have provided contract and operations support for daily air transportation between Point Mugu and China Lake for the last 12 years.
Full Story

11/4/2008 - EA-18G Moves to Operational Evaluation

In a culmination of milestones over the past year and a half, the EA-18G Growler has moved to Operational Evaluation (OpEval). The Growler, replacing the EA-6B Prowler, has conducted its sea trials, tested missiles and surpassed more than 1000 flight hours in the past several months. Full Story

10/30/2008 - USN AARGM Missile Enters Production

NAVAIR’s newest advanced weapon for destruction of enemy air defenses, AGM-88E, was recently approved to go into low rate production, and the NAWCWD Anti-Radiation Missile (ARM) Technical Project Office (TPO) played a major role in achieving that milestone. Full Story

10/29/2008 - Eurofighter Refueled from Airbus A310 MRTT

At the end of October, the test flight series to obtain certification of the single-seater and twin-seater Eurofighter aircraft for air-to-air refuelling from the Airbus A310 MRTT tanker began at Military Air Systems (MAS) in Manching. Full Story

10/25/2008 - USN EA-18G Evaluation with VX-9 Continues with a New Look

Operational evaluation (OPEVAL) continues on the EA-18G for the USN Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Nine (VX-9) "Vampires", based at China Lake NAWS in California. The unit recently brought its Growlers aboard USN aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) to see what the aircraft can do at sea. Full Story

10/24/2008 - First Eurofighter Tranche 2 Capability Enhancements in Flight Testing

Flight tests for the advanced capabilities covered by the Phase 1 Enhancement (P1E) programme for Eurofighter Typhoon Tranche 2 weapon systems have commenced with today’s first flight of a Paveway IV on Instrumented Production Aircraft IPA2 at Alenia Aeronautica’s facility in Turin, Italy.
Full Story

10/23/2008 - F-35A "AA-1" Completes Initial Testing at Edwards AFB

The first pre production EMD F-35A Lightning II fighter "AA-1" has finished all initial testing at Edwards Air Force Base, CA, demonstrating that the aircraft, the support crews, and contractor and military service personnel are ready for the dramatically expanded flight testing on the program's horizon. Full Story

10/22/2008 - Data Link Solutions Completes Tests of USN Tactical Radio System

Data Link Solutions and the U.S. Naval Air Warfare Center have completed the first flight test of a networking tactical radio system. The test demonstrated the system's ability to interoperate with other communications, situational awareness, and navigation systems for increased mission effectiveness and survivability. Full Story

10/15/2008 - NAVAIR Works with Army to Purchase H-72 Lakotas for USNTPS

NavAir is teaming with the US Army to buy five new H-72 Lakota helicopters for the United States Naval Test Pilot School. The helicopter the H-72, will replace is the Vietnam-era TH-6B Cayuse helicopter used by the Test Pilot School since the early 1990’s. The youngest of the TPS TH-6’s were built for the Army in 1968. Full Story

10/5/2008 - Gulfstream to Demonstrate Enhanced Vision System II on G150 Test Aircraft

Gulfstream Aerospace will demonstrate its second-generation Enhanced Vision System (EVS II) on its wide-cabin, high-speed Gulfstream G150 experimental flight-test aircraft during the National Business Aviation Association’s (NBAA) 61st Annual Meeting and Convention. Full Story

10/1/2008 - F-35A 'AA-1' Arrives at Edwards AFB

After a longer than expected wait, F-35A 'AA-1' landed at Edwards Air Force Base in California on Oct. 1 at 1:30 p.m. The aircraft was flown from the Lockheed plant based at Naval Air Station Fort Worth, Texas. This first F-35A will be used to perform a series of tests, including air-starts and noise level data collection. Full Story

9/22/2008 - First VH-71 Presidential Helicopter Production Aircraft Takes Flight

The VH-71 presidential helicopter program achieved another major milestone today when the first operational pilot production helicopter (PP-1) completed its maiden flight at AgustaWestland's facility in Yeovil, England. Full Story

9/10/2008 - Boeing Completes Mission System Testing for US AWACS Block 40/45 Upgrade

Team Robins made history Aug. 19 during an afternoon test flight of an F-15E Strike Eagle. The test flight was like none other before as the fighter jet embarked on its first flight using synthetic fuel.
Full Story

9/3/2008 - Edwards F-22 Raptor Performs Aerial Refueling Using Synthetic Fuel

The F-22 Combined Test Force reached another milestone as an Edwards F-22 Raptor performed aerial refueling using a synthetic fuel -- the first time an Air Force aircraft refueled mid-air using an alternative jet engine fuel. Full Story

9/3/2008 - Lunar Landing Hazard Velocity LIDAR Device Tested at NASA Dryden

An experimental light detection and ranging (LIDAR) device that has the ability to measure descent velocity for future autonomous robotic lunar missions was flight-tested Aug. 20-22 at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center. Full Story

9/3/2008 - CRJ1000 NextGen Jetliner Prototype Has Successful First Flight

Bombardier Aerospace announced today that the prototype CRJ1000 NextGen jetliner, serial number 19991, made its successful inaugural flight from the Bombardier facility at Mirabel, Québec. Full Story

8/29/2008 - Sikorsky’s UH-60M Upgrade Blackhawk Helicopter Achieves First Flight

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. today successfully completed the first flight of its UH-60M Upgrade Blackhawk helicopter. The UH-60M Upgrade is currently the only fly-by-wire rotary wing aircraft in flight test development within the Department of the Army. Full Story

8/27/2008 - Sikorsky’s X2 Demonstrator Achieves First Flight

Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation today successfully completed the first flight of its X2 TECHNOLOGY™ Demonstrator, maneuvering the prototype aircraft through hover, forward flight, and a hover turn, in a test flight that lasted approximately 30 minutes. Full Story

8/21/2008 - 339th FLTS Makes First Flight in F-15D using Synthetic Fuel at Robins, AFB

Team Robins made history Aug. 19 during an afternoon test flight of an F-15E Strike Eagle. The test flight was like none other before as the fighter jet embarked on its first flight using synthetic fuel.
Full Story

8/18/2008 - C-5M Super Galaxy Completes Developmental Flight Testing

The Lockheed Martin C-5 Reliability Enhancement and Re-engining Program (RERP) flight test team has successfully completed developmental testing of all three C-5 RERP test aircraft. Full Story

8/5/2008 - 410th FLTS "Baja Scorpions" Closes Historic Chapter

After more than 27 years and 8,000 flight test hours, the 410th Flight Test Squadron has finally closed its historic chapter during an inactivation ceremony Aug. 1 at the U.S. Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale, CA, bringing a final end to the F-117 in the USAF. Full Story

7/17/2008 - F-22 Raptor Performs First Supersonic SDB Drop

On July 11, the 411th Flight Test Squadron passed a milestone as an F-22 Raptor travelling at supersonic speed dropped a GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb for the first time. The first supersonic SDB drop was part of a safe separation test currently being performed to integrate the bomb with the F-22. Full Story

7/17/2008 - Boeing Completes Flight of First AEW&C Aircraft Modified in Turkey

The Boeing Company has successfully conducted the first flight test of the first 737 Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft modified by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) in Ankara for Turkey's Peace Eagle program.
Full Story

7/14/2008 - Testing Studies Global Hawk's Electromagnetic Profile

The Global Vigilance Combined Test Force concluded an electromagnetic profile study for the Global Hawk Block 20 at the Benefield Anechoic Facility, Edwards AFB July 3. The three-week study marked the first time the test force used an entire Global Hawk aircraft for testing inside the anechoic facility.
Full Story

7/14/2008 - NASA Evaluates Fiber Optic Technology for Future Aircraft Efficiency

NASA is evaluating an advanced, fiber optic-based sensing technology that could aid development of active control of an aircraft's wing shape. Controlling a wing's shape in flight would allow it to take advantage of aerodynamics and improve overall aircraft efficiency. Full Story

7/14/2008 - Boeing 777 Freighter Makes First Flight

The first Boeing 777 Freighter, the world's most capable twin-engine cargo airplane, today successfully took to the sky for the first time and completed an initial series of tests during a flight lasting more than three-and-a-half hours.
Full Story

7/11/2008 - NASA Responds to California Wildfire Emergency Imaging Request

A remotely piloted aircraft carrying a NASA sensor flew over much of California earlier this week, gathering information that will be used to help fight more than 300 wildfires burning within the state. Additional flights are planned for next week. Full Story

7/1/2008 - 418th FLTS and Boeing Upgrade Two C-130 Cockpits

The 418th Flight Test Squadron at Edwards AFB together with the Boeing Company are currently conducting communication, navigation, radar and air data testing on two C-130 Hercules aircraft here as part of the Avionics Modernization Program. Full Story

6/24/2008 - Arnold Engineering Development Center Helps to Improve the T-38

Arnold Engineering Development Center recently collaborated with the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., to help quantify performance improvements of a T-38 Talon. The twin-engine, high-altitude T-38 was the first world's first supersonic trainer, originally designed in the 1950s. Full Story

6/21/2008 - Vampires Bring the Growler to Mission Employment

The Air Test & Evaluation Squadron Nine (VX-9) "Vampires" have scaled up their operational evaluation of the new EA-18G "Growler" in preparation for the type's full entry into the fleet. The squadron recently made an appearance at the USAF Weapons School’s Mission Employment Phase exercise based at Nellis AFB, flying the majority of existing EA-18G aircraft built to date. Full Story

6/19/2008 - NASA and Air Resources Board to Examine California Air Quality

NASA and scientists from the California Air Resources Board are conducting a series of research flights this month that are examining the atmosphere over the state to better understand the chemical dynamics of smog and greenhouse gases. Full Story

6/18/2008 - 3-D Imaging Helps A-10C Integrate Latest Technologies

The A-10C Thunderbolt II is undergoing state-of-the-art 3-D measurement to help the close-air support fighter jet carry the latest in smart weapons technology June 9-20 at the King Hangar, Eglin Air Force Base. Full Story

6/17/2008 - STEM Facility Conducts F-35 Lanyard Risk Reduction Test

The 46th Test Wing recently lent a hand to Lockheed Martin Company to perform a risk reduction and development test of weapon lanyards for the F-35 System Development and Demonstration program at the Simulated Environment for Munitions facility at Eglin Air Force Base. Full Story

6/11/2008 - F-35B STOVL Stealth Fighter Achieves Successful First Flight

With test pilot Graham Tomlinson at the controls, the short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II streaked into blue Texas skies Wednesday, marking the first flight of an aircraft that will provide a combination of capabilities never before available: stealth, supersonic speed and STOVL basing flexibility. Full Story

6/10/2008 - USAF Test Pilot School Graduates Class 07B

The U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School class 07B graduated in a ceremony at Edwards on June 7. The school's 148th class is the first to receive a Master of Science in Flight Engineering degree upon completion of this course. Full Story

6/6/2008 - Navy Global Hawk Test Team Deploys to Point Mugu

The Persistent Maritime Unmanned Aircraft Systems Office (PMA-262) recently deployed 'N-1', the first of the US Navy's two demonstration RQ-4A Global Hawk unmanned aircraft, to NAS Point Mugu in California for continued testing.
Full Story

6/4/2008 - B-1 Sniper Pod Aims to Hit Summer Target

The Edwards Global Power Bomber Combined Test Force and the 337th Test and Evaluation Squadron from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, combined the operational and developmental test of a B-1B Lancer to accelerate the bomber's sniper pod program. Full Story

5/29/2008 - Successful First Propulsion Ground Test for F-35B 'BF-01'

The shaft-driven lift fan propulsion system that will enable the Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II stealth fighter to perform short takeoffs and vertical landings (STOVL) operated for the first time in the aircraft during ground testing on Sunday, May 25. Full Story

5/27/2008 - Lockheed Successful in First SCALPEL Flight Test

Lockheed Martin successfully conducted the first SCALPEL weapon system release in a recent flight test at the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division China Lake test range in California. This was the first in a series of tests as part of the U.S. Navy/Marine Corps/Lockheed Martin demonstration flight test program. Full Story

5/21/2008 - Boeing Flies A160T Hummingbird Unmanned Rotorcraft for 18 Hours

The Boeing Company successfully flew its A160T Hummingbird unmanned rotorcraft for 18.7 hours May 14-15, claiming an unofficial world endurance record for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) weighing between 1,102 and 5,511 pounds (500 to 2,500 kilograms). Full Story

5/21/2008 - X-48B Blended Wing Body Flight Tests Enter Second Phase

NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center and The Boeing Co. are expanding the flight envelope for the X-48B blended wing body research aircraft. Flight tests with the 500-pound, remotely piloted test vehicle are now in a second phase involving higher speed regimes. Full Story

5/20/2008 - First Flight Marks Temporary Runway at Edwards AFB Operational

As an F-16 Fighting Falcon took off from the newly built temporary runway here May 19, it marked the runway's first-ever operational use. Maj. Gen. David Eichhorn, Air Force Flight Test Center commander, helmed the F-16 and performed takeoff and landing maneuvers on the newly built runway, which also marked the beginning of the actual refurbishing of runway 22 and transfer of responsibility from the contractors to Edwards. Full Story

5/19/2008 - Second KC-45 Tanker Airframe Completes Test Flights

The second aircraft that Northrop Grumman Corporation has designated for the U.S. Air Force KC-45 Tanker program completed its final check flight May 15, illustrating the rapid production capability that will allow Northrop Grumman to quickly replace the aging KC-135 Tanker fleet.
Full Story

5/16/2008 - Last Stand of the Baja Scorpions

In an ironic twist of fate, the last flying combat ready F-117 Stealth Fighters in the US Air Force have been retired, while a few of the F-117s that spent years testing the latest new systems to be used in those same combat aircraft, are still flying. Full Story

5/15/2008 - NASA / Northrop Agreement Opens Door to Science Investigation

NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center and the Northrop Grumman Corporation have reached an agreement that will enable NASA's Science Mission Directorate to conduct Earth science research with the Northrop Grumman-developed RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system. Full Story

5/13/2008 - Pratt & Whitney’s PW4000 Advantage70 Engine Begins Flight Testing

Pratt & Whitney’s PW4000 Advantage70 development engine commenced flight testing on the company’s 747 flying test bed at its test flight facility in Plattsburgh, N.Y. The engine, which will deliver 70,000 pounds of thrust for the A330 aircraft family, is expected to achieve Federal Aviation Administration certification in October. Full Story

5/9/2008 - NASA B-52H #025 Makes its Last Flight

NASA's B-52H #025 (61-0025) departed the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center at 10:56 PDT on May 9, for what would be its last flight. The aircraft was returned to the USAF by way of Sheppard AFB, TX. There, the aircraft will be utilized as a ground maintenance trainer. Full Story

5/6/2008 - YC-15 Prototype Moves to New Home at Edwards

Contractors moved the YC-15 prototype #1 (72-1875) fuselage along Shuttle Rd. at Edwards Air Force Base April 4, in preparation for placing it on static display. The aircraft was returned to Edwards to be part of the Century Circle museum annex near the West Gate of the base. Full Story

5/5/2008 - First Flight Successful for Cessna’s Citation CJ4

Cessna Aircraft Company, a Textron Inc. company, completed first flight of its Citation CJ4 business jet prototype today. “It was an outstanding first flight,” said Cessna Senior Engineering Test Pilot Dan Morris, who flew the aircraft with Engineering Flight Test Manager Dave Bonifield as co-pilot. Full Story

5/2/2008 - First Maintainers for F-35 Heading for Test Sites

The first group of maintenance crews for the F-35 Lightning II have successfully completed classroom instruction and certification training in preparation for F-35 test-site stand up at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., and Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. Full Story

4/25/2008 - Members of the 339th Flight Test Squadron Ensure Aircraft are Fit to Fly

For members of the 339th Flight Test Squadron, their below the radar existence means a job well done.The mission of the group is to certify aircraft as worthy to return to the fight. The squadron is responsible for conducting flight tests on the C-130 Hercules, the C-5 Galaxy and F-15 Eagle after program depot maintenance is completed at the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center. Full Story

4/23/2008 - Saab Displays New Flying Test Platform for Gripen

In an event attended by over 700 international guests which was broadcast ‘live’ around the world, the Gripen Demonstrator (Demo) aircraft was ‘rolled-out’ in a spectacular ceremony in front of the world’s media. Full Story

4/17/2008 - Pratt & Whitney to Open New Flight Test Operations Centre at Montreal-Mirabel

Pratt & Whitney Canada announced today that it will concentrate its flight test operations in a new world-class centre at Montreal-Mirabel International Airport. The new global hub represents an investment of about $90 million. Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) is a United Technologies Corp. company. Full Story

4/3/2008 - Full-scale Mockup of Orion Crew  Module Arrives at Edwards

Air Force loadmasters oversaw the unloading of the full-scale Orion abort test crew module mockup from a Mississippi Air National Guard C-17A Globemaster III cargo aircraft here March 28. The Orion crew vehicle mock-up was being delivered to NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center here to undergo preparations for the first short-range flight test of the spacecraft's astronaut escape system later this year. Full Story

4/3/2008 - Boeing Successfully Flies Fuel Cell-Powered Airplane

Boeing announced today that it has, for the first time in aviation history, flown a manned airplane powered by hydrogen fuel cells.The recent milestone is the work of an engineering team at Boeing Research & Technology Europe (BR&TE) in Madrid, with assistance from industry partners in Austria, France, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. Full Story

3/27/2008 - Boeing Returns 2nd C-130 AMP Aircraft to Edwards Air Force Base

The Boeing Company has returned the second C-130 Avionics Modernization Program (AMP) aircraft, H2.5, to Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., for continued testing and software upgrades.
Full Story

3/27/2008 - VX-31 F/A-18 Destroys Target with New AIM-120D Variant during White Sands Test

A Raytheon Company AIM-120D Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile successfully destroyed its target Feb. 13 in a test engagement of the newest variant of the combat-proven missile. Full Story

3/25/2008 - Global Hawk RQ-4B 'AF-8' Sets 33-Hour Flight Endurance Record at Edwards

Northrop Grumman Corporation's RQ-4 Global Hawk set an endurance record for a full-scale, operational unmanned aircraft on Saturday, March 22, 2008, when it completed a flight of 33.1 hours at altitudes up to 60,000 feet over Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Full Story

3/20/2008 - Prototype YC-17A 'T-1' Reaches 1,000 Flight Milestone

Edwards own T-1, The Air Force's first test aircraft for the C-17A Globemaster III, reached a milestone when it was flown for its 1,000th flight here March 10. T-1, produced in 1991, is the first test aircraft to conduct developmental and experimental flight tests. Full Story

3/20/2008 - Gripen Successfully Fires Meteor in Sweden

Gripen has conducted a further successful live firing with the MBDA Meteor air-to-air missile, proving once again its reliability as a platform for the integration and testing of complex future missile systems for the world’s new generation combat aircraft. Full Story

3/14/2008 - 413th Flight Test Group Helps Determine when Aircraft are 'Airworthy'

When it comes to ensuring many of the Air Force's pilots are safe in the cockpit, the flight crews of the 413th Flight Test Group are on the job. Full Story

3/13/2008 - F-35A Succeeds in First Aerial Refueling Test

The Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II successfully completed the first stage of its airborne refueling tests during the aircraft’s 34th flight yesterday. Aerial refueling capability will expand the F-35 operating envelope, enabling longer duration flights. Full Story

3/11/2008 - 418th FLTS Tests C-130H with NP-2000 Eight Blade Props

The 418th Flight Test Squadron at Edwards AFB replaced a C-130H Hercules' four-bladed propellers with new eight-bladed NP-2000 propellers Feb. 21 in support of the New York Air National Guard's Operation Deep Freeze mission to Antarctica. Full Story

3/10/2008 - Cessna SkyCatcher Prototype Completes First Flight

Cessna Aircraft completed the first flight of its Model 162 SkyCatcher prototype Saturday. “The first flight of the SkyCatcher is a significant step ahead toward our goal of bringing an affordable training aircraft to market,” said Jack Pelton, Cessna’s chairman, president and CEO. Full Story

3/5/2008 - 556th Test and Evaluation Squadron Activated at Creech AFB

The 556th Test and Evaluation Squadron, the US Air Force's first operational test squadron for unmanned aerial systems, held an activation ceremony at Creech AFB March 5. Full Story

3/3/2008 - F-117A #783 Finds Nest at Blackbird Air Park

Volunteers with the 410th Flight Test Squadron based at U.S. Air Force Plant #42, Palmdale Airport, moved F-117A #79-10783 from the 410th FLTS, to Blackbird Air Park on March 3. Blackbird Air Park is located nearby on the Palmdale airport property. Full Story

2/28/2008 - VH-71 Test Helicopter #3 Takes to the Air

Test Vehicle 3, the third helicopter built for the VH-71 Presidential Helicopter Replacement Program, made its initial flight Feb. 27 in Yeovil, England marking the fourth helicopter to enter flight test. Full Story

2/27/2008 - A320 Completes First Test Flight Powered by IAE SelectOne Engines

As part of Airbus’ commitment to offering its customers the most eco-efficient aircraft and also to driving down aircraft related maintenance costs, the Airbus A320 test aircraft successfully performed the first in a series of test flights on 26th February, powered for the first time by International Aero Engines’ new SelectOne standard engine. Full Story

2/20/2008 - Battlefield Airborne Communications Node Testing Continues

Testing of the Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) is continuing forward. During the month of February, Bombardier Global Express test aircraft N901GX has flown test sorties out of NAS North Island, CA in support of the program. Full Story

2/15/2008 - Saab Signs New Agreement with UK’s Test Pilots School

Test pilot students at the renowned Empire Test Pilots School (ETPS), MOD Boscombe Down in the United Kingdom, will continue to have access to fly Sweden´s new generation Gripen fighter under the recently signed agreement with Saab. Full Story

2/14/2008 - EADS A330 MRTT Military Transport Completes Flight Test Phase 1

The first A330 MRTT prototype MSN747 has landed today at EADS MTAD facilities in Getafe, Madrid at 12:15h local time after completing Phase 1 of the flight testing that has been primarily devoted to civil certification. EADS MTAD has officially announced the conclusion of a key Australian A330 MRTT programme milestone. Full Story

2/14/2008 - Geared Turbofan Demonstrator Engine Completes Phase I Ground Tests

Pratt & Whitney has successfully completed Phase I sea-level performance and acoustic testing on the full-scale Geared Turbofan demonstrator engine ahead of schedule. The engine will now be configured with the flight nacelle system for Phase II ground testing beginning in April in preparation for flight testing on Pratt & Whitney’s 747SP flying test bed in mid-2008. Full Story

2/14/2008 - Successful Demonstration of New Synthetic Aperture Radar Capability for F-22

Northrop Grumman Corporation has successfully demonstrated the capability to generate high-resolution, in-flight synthetic aperture radar (SAR) maps using the AESA (active electronically scanned array) radar being produced for the U.S. Air Force's F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft. Full Story

2/1/2008 - Edwards Tests X-51 Scramjet-Waverider Antennas

The Edwards 412th Test Wing Hypersonic Flight Test Team, Electronic Warfare Directorate and Boeing began testing on the X-51 Scramjet-Waverider's antennas at the Benefield Anechoic Facility here Jan. 28. Full Story

2/1/2008 - Airbus Completes First Test Flight with Alternative Fuel on Civil Aircraft

An Airbus A380 aircraft has successfully completed the world’s first ever flight by a commercial aircraft using a liquid fuel processed from gas (Gas to Liquids - GTL) in the first stage of a test flight programme to evaluate the environmental impact of alternative fuels in the airline market. Full Story

1/31/2008 - Edwards Airman Flies High as First Military F-35 Pilot

An Edwards Air Force Base pilot became the first Air Force and government test pilot to fly the F-35 Lightning II during a test sortie at the Lockheed Martin facility, Fort Woth, TX Jan. 30. Full Story

1/29/2008 - Boeing Completes First KC-767 Tanker Night Refueling

The Boeing Company made KC-767 program history Jan. 26 when one if its aircrews successfully transferred fuel from a KC-767 tanker aircraft to an F-15E at night -- the first nighttime refueling ever accomplished on a KC-767. Full Story

1/28/2008 - A330 MRTT Flight Test Program Progresses at Fast Pace

Flight-testing of the A330 MRTT, the first production aircraft for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), has continued at a fast pace and initial handling and performance evaluation are as predicted. Full Story

1/23/2008 - Boeing Completes Flight of First AEW&C Wedgetail Modified in Australia

The Boeing Company has conducted a successful functional check flight of the first 737 Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft modified in Australia for Project Wedgetail. Full Story

1/21/2008 - Future Changes at NASA Dryden Flight Research Center

Some changes are in the works at the NASA Dryden FRC. Numerous aircraft will have their base of operations moved to the new NASA Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility, located in Palmdale, CA. One noteworthy aircraft will also be leaving the NASA fleet altogether. Full Story

1/17/2008 - NASA's SOFIA Completes Closed-Door Test Flight

NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA, has passed a significant mission milestone. It has completed the first phase of experimental flight tests, which confirmed the structural integrity and performance of the modified 747SP SOFIA aircraft that carries a huge infrared telescope. Full Story

1/17/2008 - USN's VX-31 Delivers New Night Vision Capability to Iraq

Two Marines assigned to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 31 (VX-31) at NAWCWD China Lake recently traveled to Iraq to deliver a new night vision capability to Marine Fighter/Attack Squadron (VMFA(AW))-225. The Night Vision Cueing and Display (NVCD) system provides Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS) functionality integrated into night vision devices providing improved situational awareness for pilots during night flights. Full Story

1/17/2008 - First Tranche 2 Eurofighter Typhoon Makes Maiden Flight

The first Tranche 2 Eurofighter Typhoon has made its first flight at EADS Military Air Systems’ site in Manching. Instrumented Production Aircraft Seven (IPA7) was piloted by EADS Test Pilot Chris Worning. Full Story

1/16/2008 - Gripen Test Fires the IRIS-T Air-to-Air Missile

An important milestone in the integration of IRIS-T with the Gripen fighter, was achieved on 8 November 2007 at the Vidsel range in northern Sweden when Gripen fired the IRIS-T, within visual range (WVR), missile with an operational target seeker for the first time. Full Story

1/16/2008 - USAF 82nd ATRS Det 1 Launches First Ever Air to Ground Missile from Drone

The first-ever launch of an air to ground missile from a full scale aerial target drone was completed Jan. 9 by Detachment 1, 82nd Aerial Targets Squadron located at Holloman Air Force Base, NM. Full Story

1/10/2008 - Presidential VH-71 Begins U.S. Flight Testing

The first two VH-71 helicopters built for the President of the United States have entered the flight test phase with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. The Navy-owned test vehicles, TV-2 and TV-5, arrived at NAS Patuxent River in November and December, respectively, aboard a U.S. Air Force C-17 cargo plane from AgustaWestland’s facility in Yeovil, England. Full Story

1/8/2008 - Navy MQ-8B Fire Scout Flight Test Initiated Using New Ship Control Segment

Northrop Grumman Corporation initiated the next phase of the Vertical Takeoff and Landing Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (VTUAV) MQ-8B Fire Scout development program with the first flight test using a Test and Training Control Segment. Full Story

1/4/2008 - Global Hawk Block 30 Arrives at Edwards for ASIP Testing

The 452nd Flight Test Squadron here is scheduled to begin a series of developmental flight tests on the RQ-4 Global Hawk Block 30 in February. The aircraft arrived in Edwards on a ferry flight Nov. 16 from the Northrop Grumman Palmdale, CA facility. Full Story

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