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F-15B and F-18 SRA in flight F-15B and F-18 SRA in flight

Photo Number: EC93-42061-4
Photo Date: July 10, 1993

Formats: 539x480 JPEG Image (107 KBytes)
1150x1024 JPEG Image (588 KBytes)
3000x2670 JPEG Image (5,357 KBytes)

Description: NASA's F-15B (upper right), later used for aerodynamic flight research, is seen here with the F/A-18B Systems Research Aircraft, on a flight from the Dryden Flight Research Facility, Edwards, California.

Flown by Dryden in a multi-year, joint NASA/DOD/industry program, the F/A-18B was modified into a unique Systems Research Aircraft (SRA) to investigate a host of new technologies in the areas of flight controls, air data sensing and advanced computing. One of the more than 20 experiments tested aboard the SRA F-18 was an advanced air data sensing system which used a group of pressure taps flush-mounted on the forward fuselage to measure both altitude and wind speed and direction--critical data for flight control and research investigations. The Real-Time Flush Air Data Sensing system concept was evaluated for possible use on the X-33 and X-34 reusable space-launch vehicles. The primary goal of the SRA program was to validate through flight research cutting-edge technologies which could benefit future aircraft and spacecraft by improving efficiency and performance, reducing weight and complexity, with a resultant reduction on development and operational costs.

NASA's F-15B aircraft was being used by Dryden as an aerospace research aircraft. Certain experiments can be placed on the Flight Test Fixture, which is mounted under the fuselage. The research projects can then be subjected to different aerodynamic loads, speeds and temperatures. The F-15B, No. 836, was acquired in 1993 and is also used at Dryden as a research support aircraft.

Keywords: F-15; F-15B; F-18; F-18 SRA; Systems Research Aircraft; FTF; Flight Test Fixture; no. 836

Last Modified: February 6, 2002
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