TOGETHER AGAIN - NASA's two F-15 research aircraft don't get a lot of flight hours, and it's even less frequent that they are in the air together on the same mission. But research pilots Jim Smolka and Craig Bomben from NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center put the highly modified aircraft through their paces during a mission over the Edwards Air Force Base test range in late July that supported the Intelligent Flight Control System (IFCS) project. Canard-equipped F-15B 837, NASA's IFCS aircraft, was flying structural mode validation flights at the time, leading to Generation II IFCS flights planned for later this year. F-15B 836 was flying safety chase and for pilot proficiency in air refueling. Both aircraft performed aerial refueling from an Air Force KC-135 tanker aircraft. At the end of the mission, the two joined up for a formation fly-over of their home at NASA Dryden.
PHOTO EDITORS: Publication-quality photos to support this release are available for downloading from the Internet at: http://www.dfrc.nasa.gov/Gallery/Photo/F-15B_837/index.html .
EC05-0148-30 - One of NASA's two F-15 research aircraft gets refueled in mid-air over Lake Isabella from a USAF KC-135 tanker while NASA's other F-15 flies chase alongside.
- NASA Dryden photo by Carla Thomas.
EC05-0148-31 - NASA's two modified F-15B research aircraft joined up for a fly-over of NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center on Edwards AFB, Calif., after a research mission.
-NASA Dryden photo by Tony Landis.
EC05-0148-04 - NASA F-15B research aircraft #836 shadows its stablemate, F-15B #837, during an Intelligent Flight Control System mission from NASA Dryden.
-NASA Dryden photo by Carla Thomas.
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