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Arrival of first F-107A #118 (later NACA 207) to NASA FRC

Photo Number: E57-3192
Photo Date: November 6, 1957
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Arrival of first F-107A #118 (later NACA 207) to NASA FRC
Two North American F-107A airplanes were flown at NACA/NASA High-Speed Flight Station starting November 1957 and continuing until September 1959. The F-107A possessed some interesting features that NACA wished to examine in detail. NACA acquired the first and third F-107As built.Originally called the F-100B, the tactical flighter bomber was so extensively redesigned that the designation was changed before the first F-107A (Serial #55-5118) flew in 1956. It featured a large inlet located above the fuselage for a Pratt & Whitney YJ75-P-11 engine with afterburner, a very sophisticated stability augmentation system, and a movable vertical fin. In July 1959 the F-107A (Serial #55-5118) airplane designated NACA #207 was donated to NASA High-Speed Flight Station. The first aircraft proved mechanically unreliable and only made 4 flights before NASA grounded it.

The third aircraft built, F-107A (Serial #55-5120) made its first NACA flight on July 25, 1958. It would complete 39 more flights during 1958 and 1959 before being damaged in a takeoff accident on September 1, 1959, fortunately without injury to the pilot.

During this period a sidestick program was NACA's major accomplishment with the craft, after the proposed inlet and fin studies went by the wayside. The complex inlet, with its movable inlet ramps and variable inlet control, caused many problems and was finally positioned in a fixed mode. Engineers at NACA modified the F-107A NACA #120, with a so-called Sidestick Flight Control System. (Sidestick was the center stick, modified and moved to the side of the cockpit area and could be used with wrist motion only) This system had been planned for the upcoming X-15 program. North American refined the design and the designated X-15 test pilots gained experience before having to use it in the actual X-15 airplane.

NASA Photo by: unknown
Keywords: F-107A #118, NACA 207, North American F-107; Sidestick Flight Control System; NACA High-Speed Flight Station; NASA High-Speed Flight Station

Last Modified: November 6, 2008
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