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NASA Meatball NASA Dryden F-18 High Alpha Research Vehicle (HARV) banner
F-18 HARV research pilot Dana Purifoy F-18 HARV research pilot Dana Purifoy

Photo Number: EC96-43599-1
Photo Date: May 29, 1996

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Description: Dana D. Purifoy was an aerospace research pilot at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, California. He joined NASA in August 1994. Purifoy was a former Air Force test pilot who served as a project pilot in the joint NASA/Air Force X-29 Forward Swept Wing research program conducted at Dryden from 1984 to 1991.

His final assignment in the Air Force was flying U-2 aircraft as a test pilot at Air Force Plant 42, Palmdale, CA. In addition to flying the X-29 at Dryden as an Air Force pilot, Purifoy was also a project pilot and joint test force director with the AFTI F-16 (Advanced Fighter Technology Integration/F-16) program, also located at Dryden. Before his assignments as project pilot on the X-29 and AFTI/F-16 aircraft, Purifoy was chief of the Academics Systems Branch at the Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards. Prior to becoming a test pilot, he flew F-111 and F-16 aircraft in Great Britain and Germany. He has accumulated 3800 hours of flying time in his career.

The final flight for the F-18 High Alpha Research Vehicle (HARV) took place at NASA Dryden on May 29, 1996. The highly modified F-18 airplane flew 383 flights over a nine year period and demonstrated concepts that greatly increase fighter maneuverability.

Among concepts proven in the aircraft was the use of paddles to direct jet engine exhaust in cases of extreme altitudes where conventional control surfaces lose effectiveness. Another concept, developed by NASA Langley Research Center, was a deployable wing-like surface installed on the nose of the aircraft for increased right and left (yaw) control on nose-high flight angles.


Keywords: F-18 High Alpha Research Vehicle; pilots; F-18; Purifoy; Dana Purifoy; ANSER; final flight; high angle of attack

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