NASA currently operates a pair of WB-57F high-altitude research aircraft based out of Ellington Field in Texas, but very soon a third airframe will join the fleet. Paul Filmer reports on NASA 927's first flight.
Posts: 404 From: Pampa, TX, US Registered: May 2011
posted 08-12-2013 06:05 AM
Are those Angry Birds plushes in the cockpit in this photo?
Also, interesting to see the pilot using an MBU-5/p oxygen mask (mid 60's to mid 80's era) while the backseater is wearing an MBU-20/p (Mid 90's to present era)
Posts: 3055 From: London, UK Registered: Feb 2002
posted 08-12-2013 06:40 AM
Great news for a great aircraft.
Presumably increased demand for mapping/air-sampling by NASA/commercial/academic interests. A lot cheaper to operate than the ER-2s.
That said, one of the other WB-57Fs was spotted in the UK last year on its way back from Afghanistan. Stripped of all NASA markings it had apparently been testing battlefield communications systems. Why the military doesn't have their own platform is another question, but presumably there's some form of cross-subsidy.