NASA F-18 Hornet
NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif., used an F-18 Hornet fighter aircraft as its high angle-of-attack (Alpha) research vehicle in a three-phased flight research project lasting from April 1987 until September 1996. The aircraft completed 385 research flights and demonstrated stabilized flight at angles of attack between 65 and 70 degrees using thrust vectoring vanes, a research flight control system, and (eventually) forebody strakes (hinged structures on the forward side of the fuselage to provide control by interacting with vortices, generated at high angles of attack, to create side forces).
This combination of technologies provided carefree handling of a fighter aircraft in a part of the flight regime that was otherwise very dangerous. Flight research with the HARV increased our understanding of flight at high angles of attack, enabling designers of U.S. fighter aircraft to design airplanes that will fly safely in portions of the flight envelope that pilots previously had to avoid.
The aircraft had a wing span of 37 feet 5 inches. The fuselage was 56 feet long and 10 feet 6 inches high at the canopy.
Courtesy of www.NASA.gov
C-17 Globemaster III
The C-17 Globemaster III is the newest, most flexible cargo aircraft to enter the airlift force. The C-17 is capable of rapid strategic delivery of troops and all types of cargo to main operating bases or directly to forward bases in the deployment area. The aircraft can perform tactical airlift and airdrop missions and can transport litters and ambulatory patients during aeromedical evacuations when required. The inherent flexibility and performance of the C-17 force improve the ability of the total airlift system to fulfill the worldwide air mobility requirements of the United States.
The MQ-1B Predator is an armed, multimission, medium-altitude, long-endurance remotely piloted aircraft that is employed primarily as an intelligence-collection asset and secondarily against dynamic execution targets. Given its significant loiter time, wide-range sensors, multi-mode communications suite, and precision weapons, it provides a unique capability to perform strike, coordination and reconnaissance against high-value, fleeting and time-sensitive targets.
F-15E Strike Eagle
The F-15E Strike Eagle is a dual-role fighter designed to perform air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. An array of avionics and electronics systems gives the F-15E the capability to fly at low altitude, day or night, and in all weather.
The KC-135 Stratotanker provides the core aerial refueling capability for the U.S. Air Force and has excelled in this role for more than 50 years. This unique asset enhances the Air Force’s capability to accomplish its primary mission of global reach. It also provides aerial refueling support to Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and allied nation aircraft. The KC-135 is also capable of transporting litter and ambulatory patients using patient support pallets during aeromedical evacuations.