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Official Photos - NASA Dryden - Page 1
This page contains photos of aircraft flown at NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, past and present.

All North Spin photographs are Copyright © by the photographers that took them, and are not to be re-posted or redistributed.

Subject: NB-52B - US Air Force #52-008 - NASA #008
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 11/17/2004
Credit: Carla Thomas / NASA

Notes: Shown carrying the X-43A Hypersonic Research Aircraft and Pegasus rocket, which was later dropped and accelerated to Mach 9.8. This was the last of three flights in the Hyper-X program, and #008's last official mission.


Subject: NB-52B - US Air Force #52-008 - NASA #008
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 9/27/2004
Credit: Tom Tschid / NASA

Notes: Shown taking off with the X-43A on an evaluation flight... #008 was officially retired on 12/17/2004. At the time, it was the oldest B-52 flying.


Subject: NB-52B - US Air Force #52-008 - NASA #008
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: NASA

Notes: Shown carrying the X-15 on a test flight, with a T-38 chase.


Subject: A-5A - US Navy BuNo 147858 - NASA #858
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 10/25/1963
Credit: NASA

Notes: Brought from NAS Patuxent River, #858 spent one year at Dryden in support of the U.S. Supersonic Transport program.


Subject: F/A-18A (AAW) - US Navy BuNo 161744 - NASA #853
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 10/24/2001
Credit: NASA

Notes: This Hornet was modified for the AAW (Active Aeroelastic Wing) program, which studied the benefits of aerodynamically twisting flexible wings to improve roll maneuverability, on high-performance aircraft.


Subject: AD-1 - NASA #805
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 7/9/1980
Credit: NASA

Notes: The Ames-Dryden-1 (AD-1) was built by Ames Industrial to study the concept of an oblique (pivoting) wing. The first flight at Dryden was 12/21/1979.


Subject: Aero Commander 680F - N6297 - NASA #801
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: ?/?/1965
Credit: NASA

Notes: #801 arrived at Dryden in May 1963. One of its many missions while at the center, was the scouting of dry lakes to be used in the X-15 program.


Subject: Altair (Predator B) - N8172V - NASA # N/A
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 10/25/2006
Credit: General Atomics Aeronautical Systems / NASA

Notes: Altair is a technology demonstrator, for the study of command and control technologies on UAVs. Pictured here with a pod-mounted infrared imaging sensor, the Altair UAS aided CA wildfire mapping efforts in 2006.


Subject: Altus II - NASA #?
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 6/29/1998
Credit: NASA

Notes: Based on the Predator, the Altus II was designed for high-altitude, long-duration, scientific sampling missions. Its first flight was 5/1/1996.


Subject: F/A-18A AAR - US Navy BuNo 161520 - NASA #847
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 12/11/2002
Credit: Carla Thomas / NASA

Notes: #847 has participated in the Automated Aerial Refueling program... Notice the AR buddy pod on the center position. 161520 originally flew as Blue Angel ship #2 during the first season of them using the Hornet in 1987.

Subject: F/A-18A - NASA #847 & F/A-18B - NASA #845 - AAR Program
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 9/18/2003
Credit: Carla Thomas / NASA

Notes: #847 & 845 test the Automated Aerial Refueling system. Notice the program logos on both sets of tails.


Subject: F/A-18B - NASA #845 & F/A-18B - NASA #846
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 2/21/2001
Credit: Lori Losey / NASA

Notes: These aircraft participated in the Autonomous Formation Flight (AFF) program, which tested the concept of utilizing GPS and other systems, to fly aircraft in formation autonomously.


Subject: B-29/P2B-1S - US Navy BuNo 84029 - NACA #129
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: ?/?/1949
Credit: NASA

Notes: Pictured here next to the XS-1... #129 served as "mother ship" on both X-1 and D-558-II flights. #129 was built as US Army Air Force #45-21787.


Subject: B-47A - US Air Force #49-1900 - NACA #150
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 9/?/1953
Credit: NASA

Notes: #150 was used in the study of; impact of aeroelasticity upon structural loads and dynamic stability.


Subject: B-52H - US Air Force #61-0025 - NASA #025
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 7/30/2001
Credit: Tony Landis / NASA

Notes: #025 flies over Edwards AFB as it first arrives in its original paint.

Subject: B-52H - US Air Force #61-0025 - NASA #025
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 4/16/2002
Credit: Jim Ross / NASA

Notes: #025 was to replace NB-52B #008 as Dryden's "mother ship". Unfortunately, it was returned to the AF in 2006 before it ever flew a test mission.


Subject: NB-52B - US Air Force #52-008 - NASA #008
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 11/?/1996
Credit: Tony Landis / NASA

Notes: #008 landing at Edwards AFB.

Subject: NB-52B - US Air Force #52-008 - NASA #008
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 3/30/2001
Credit: Jim Ross / NASA

Notes: Dryden's famous "Balls 8" mother ship, in flight over Edwards AFB.


Subject: NB-52B - US Air Force #52-008 - NASA #008
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: ?/?/1960
Credit: NASA

Notes: #008 shown here in an early high-vis scheme, carrying the X-15 .


Subject: NB-52B - US Air Force #52-008 - NASA #008
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: ?/?/1966
Credit: NASA

Notes: With orange paint slightly faded, #008 carries the M2-F2 Lifting Body aloft for a test mission.


Subject: NB-52B - US Air Force #52-008 - NASA #008
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: ?/?/1973
Credit: NASA

Notes: Utilized during stall-spin studies, #008 carries the 3/8th scale F-15 Remotely Piloted Research Vehicle (RPRV).


Subject: NB-52B - US Air Force #52-008 - NASA #008
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 3/27/2004
Credit: Tom Tschida / NASA

Notes: #008 takes off from Edwards AFB carrying the second X-43A hypersonic research aircraft attached to a modified Pegasus rocket.


Subject: B-57B - US Air Force #52-1576 - NASA #809
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: ?/?/1982
Credit: NASA

Notes: The Martin built "Canberra" was involved in many programs at Dryden, including proof-of-concept testing on the Viking Mars landers.


Subject: Bell 47 - N3067G - NASA #822
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 4/14/1982
Credit: NASA

Notes: #822 came from JSC to Dryden 11/4/1973, and stayed until 6/21/1985. It was at one point based at Fox Field during testing of the Lunar Lander Research Vehicle.


Subject: Boeing 747-123 (SCA) - Serial #20107 - NASA #905
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 9/20/1974
Credit: NASA

Notes: #905 was the first of two 747s obtained for use as Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, and was purchased from American Airlines. Before being modified into an SCA, it was involved in these trailing wake vortices tests.


Subject: C-140 - N814NA - NASA #814
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 5/21/1981
Credit: NASA

Notes: Seen here during testing of advanced prop-fan designs.


Subject: CV-990 (LSRA) - NASA #810
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 4/7/1993
Credit: NASA

Notes: #810 was modified as a Landing Systems Research Aircraft, for testing of the space shuttle main and nose landing gear systems.


Subject: D-558-1 - US Navy BuNo 37970 - NACA #?
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: N/A
Credit: USAF

Notes: Douglas test pilot Gene May stands on the right, in front of the first D-558-1 'Skystreak' prototype. May took the aircraft for its first flight on 4/15/1947.


Subject: D-558-1 - US Navy BuNo 37972 - NACA #?
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 10/?/1949
Credit: NASA

Notes: The D-558 was a joint NACA/Navy program.


Subject: D-558-2 - US Navy BuNo 37974 - NACA #144
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: ?/?/1954
Credit: NASA

Notes: On 8/21/1953, Marine Lt. Col. Marion Carl flew #144 to a new unofficial altitude record of 83,235 feet, and maximum speed of Mach 1.728.


Subject: DC-8-72 - Serial #17136 - NASA #817
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 2/24/2004
Credit: Jim Ross / NASA

Notes: Shown here wearing a new paint scheme... The "flying lab" was originally based at NASA Ames.


Subject: DC-8-72 - Serial #17136 - NASA #817
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 12/11/2000
Credit: NASA

Notes: Returning from an AFWEX research deployment in the old paint scheme.


Subject: QF-106 / EXD-01 - US Air Force #59-0130 - NASA #?
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 12/20/1997
Credit: Tom Tschida / NASA

Notes: This QF-106 was part of a project called "Eclipse", which studied the concept of a reusable tow-launch vehicle. The aircraft was towed to altitude using an Edwards based C-141A.


Subject: ER-2 - Serial #80-1097 - NASA #709/809
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 2/18/1998
Credit: Tony Landis / NASA

Notes: Shown here still wearing its original NASA Ames paint scheme and number, #709 takes off from Edwards AFB.


Subject: ER-2 - Serial #80-1097 - NASA #809
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 10/?/1999
Credit: NASA

Notes: On 11/19/1998, the ER-2 set a world altitude record for medium weight aircraft of 68,700'.


Subject: ER-2 - Serial #80-1097 - NASA #809
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 8/1/2001
Credit: NASA

Notes: There are two ER-2s based at Dryden FRC... #806 and 809.


Subject: ER-2 - Serial #80-1063 - NASA #706/806
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 11/4/1997
Credit: Carla Thomas / NASA

Notes: Still wearing its original NASA Ames paint scheme and number, #706 flies over the R2508 complex.


Subject: F-4A - US Navy BuNo 145313 - NASA #?
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: ?/?/1965
Credit: NASA

Notes: This Navy F-4 arrived at the center on 12/3/1965 and stayed until at least 7/67. Notice the "Naval Missile Center" on the tail. The large radome indicates it may have been upgraded to the AN/APQ-72 radar. NASA used it for bio-medical tests, supersonic sonic testing, and even flew some monkeys in the back seat.


Subject: F5D-1 - US Navy BuNo 142350 - NASA #213
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: ?/?/1962
Credit: NASA

Notes: One of two prototype F5D-1s brought to the center in 1961, which were #212 & 213. #213 eventually went to NASA Ames as #708.


Subject: TF-8A - US Navy BuNo 141353 - NASA #810
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 1/10/1973
Credit: NASA

Notes: #810 was used as a flying test bed for an experimental Supercritical Wing Airfoil, which reduced the effect of shockwaves near Mach 1.


Subject: F-8 (DFBW) - US Navy BuNo 145546 - NASA #802
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 10/27/1972
Credit: NASA

Notes: #802 was the Digital Fly by Wire test bed aircraft... It paved the way for the flight systems used on the F-117, F/A-18, and many other modern aircraft.


Subject: F-14A (VSTFE) - US Navy BuNo 158613 - NASA #834
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 4/11/1986
Credit: NASA

Notes: In 1986/87, #834 participated in the Variable-Sweep Transition Flight Experiment program, which explored laminar flow on variable sweep aircraft at high subsonic speeds. #834 flew at Dryden from 1974 to 1987.


Subject: F-14A - US Navy BuNo 157991 - NASA #991
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 8/5/1982
Credit: NASA

Notes: #991 was the second of two F-14s to be used at the flight center. Shown here flying with another Navy F-14, #991 participated in a joint NASA/Navy program from 1979 to 1985.

Subject: F-14A - US Navy BuNo 157991 - NASA #991
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 11/12/1982
Credit: NASA

Notes: #991 is shown here after arriving to Dryden, in its early scheme.


Subject: F-15B (IFCS) - US Air Force #71-0290 - NASA #837
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 8/27/2003
Credit: Jim Ross / NASA

Notes: Dryden's highly modified F-15B #837 participates in the Intelligent Flight Control System (IFCS) program.

Subject: F-15B (IFCS) - US Air Force #71-0290 - NASA #837
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 3/3/2003
Credit: Jim Ross / NASA

Notes: #71-0290 was originally the first F-15B model produced, and first flew on 7/7/73.

Subject: F-15B - NASA #836 & F-15B NASA #836
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 7/22/2005
Credit: Carla Thomas / NASA

Notes: Flying in formation during an Intelligent Flight Control System (IFCS) test mission.


Subject: F-15B - US Air Force #71-0141 - NASA #836
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 7/10/1993
Credit: NASA

Notes: #836 is seen here, still in its original AF scheme.

Subject: F-15B - US Air Force #71-0141 - NASA #836
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 5/14/1998
Credit: Jim Ross / NASA

Notes: Pictured here while testing the X-33 Thermal Protection System (TPS) materials.


Subject: F-15B (ACTIVE) - US Air Force #71-0290 - NASA #837
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 3/?/1996
Credit: Jim Ross / NASA

Notes: With a NASA Hornet as chase, #837 flies a mission for the Advanced Control Technology for Integrated Vehicles program.


Subject: F-15A - US Air Force #71-0287 - NASA #835
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 5/17/1978
Credit: NASA

Notes: Still in its early demonstrator scheme, #835 is seen flying a test mission on the 10 Degree Cone Experiment, with F-104N chase #812.


Subject: F-15A (HiDEC) - US Air Force #71-0287 - NASA #835
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 6/18/1982
Credit: NASA

Notes: #835 eventually became the Highly Integrated Digital Electronic Control test bed, and was given a special paint scheme for the program.


Subject: YF-16A (AFTI) - US Air Force #75-0750 - NASA #?
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 1/19/1989
Credit: NASA

Notes: Seen in a unique two tone gray camo scheme, this F-16 was the Advanced Fighter Technology Integration test bed. The aircraft tested intake mounted canards, a voice command system, and other new technology.

Subject: YF-16A (AFTI) - US Air Force #75-0750 - NASA #?
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 10/?/1992
Credit: NASA

Notes: Shown in its last configuration with canards removed, and two nose mounted infrared sensors. The AFTI was a joint NASA-AF-Navy program.


Subject: F-16XL/A (Ship #1) - US Air Force #75-0749 - NASA #849
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 12/16/1997
Credit: NASA

Notes: #849 takes off for the first time with the Digital Flight Control System (DFCS).

Subject: F-16XL/A (Ship #1) - US Air Force #75-0749 - NASA #849
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 12/16/1997
Credit: NASA

Notes: #849's unique wing structure is seen from above.

Subject: F-16XL/A (Ship #1) - US Air Force #75-0749 - NASA #849
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 3/4/1996
Credit: NASA

Notes: #849 flies a mission for the Cranked-Arrow Wing Aerodynamic Project.


Subject: F-16XL/A NASA #849 & SR-71 NASA #844
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 3/22/1995
Credit: NASA

Notes: #849 & 844 are seen in formation during a sonic boom test.


Subject: F-16XL/B (Ship #2) - US Air Force #75-0747 - NASA #848
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 10/25/1996
Credit: NASA

Notes: #848 is seen on its final flight in the Supersonic Laminar Flow Control (SLFC) program.

Subject: F-16XL/B (Ship #2) - US Air Force #75-0747 - NASA #848
Location: NASA Dryden FRC - Edwards AFB, CA
Date: 10/5/1995
Credit: Tony Landis / NASA

Notes: The black area on the wing was the titanium "glove" panel that had more than 10 million holes drilled in it, and a suction system that would pull the boundary layer of air down during flight.



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