Taken on Jan. 30, 2019 the cool photos in this post show the NF-16 VISTA (Variable stability In-flight Test Aircraft) departing Hill Air Force Base (AFB), UT, after recently receiving a new look and modifications at the Ogden Air Logistics Complex.
The aircraft is the only one of its kind in the world and is the flag-ship of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School. It’s has been highly modified, allowing pilots to change the aircraft’s flight characteristics and stability to mimic that of other aircraft.
This Fighting Falcon, with serial number 86-0048, has been assigned its whole life to the USAF Test Pilot School under command of the 412th Test Wing at Edwards AFB, CA.
Also involved in the project is Calspan Aerospace, an independent engineering company, based at Buffalo (NY). This seventy year old company supports VISTA in airborne Research, Development, Test & Evaluation (RDT&E) since 1988. Hence the Calspan Aerospace signs on the F-16 VISTA.
VISTA is all about a variable stability aircraft that is conceived as a real flying device that will permit in-flight variation of the flying qualities of an airplane. This, in order for pilots to determine the suitability of the special flight characteristics and stability during an actual flight.
Photo credit: Cynthia Griggs / U.S. Air Force
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