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Unit History

Ames Research Center (ARC)

Role: Research and Development.

NASA Ames Research Center (ARC) located at Moffett Federal Airfield, California, was authorized by Congress on August 9, 1939 as the second National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) laboratory. The lab was named after Joseph Sweetman Ames, a founding member and longtime chairman (1919-1939) of the NACA on April 18, 1940, Ames Aeronautical Laboratory. On October 1, 1958, when the NACA was superseded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the name was changed to Ames Research Center.

Icing Research

The first research program undertaken at the new Ames Aeronautical Laboratory concerned the development and testing of icing protection systems for military aircraft. The need of the military services to operate their new high-performance bombers and transports year around in adverse weather led the NACA to initiate this program. This effort had begun sometime earlier at the Langley Aeronautical Laboratory with wind tunnel and flight tests. The flight activity, including personnel, was relocated to Ames in 1940. The first flight experiment at Ames was carried out on the O-47A-1, originally an Army observation aircraft, to obtain initial results for this program. Aircraft used were the O-47A, Lockheed 12A, XB-24F, B-17F, C-46A, BTD-1 and one P-38J. Interest in icing research at Ames virtually ceased by 1949 as the Flight Engineering Branch shifted emphasis to transonic studies.

Transonic Model Testing

Interest in the transonic flight regime increased markedly after the Second World War, reflecting further attempts to increase aircraft performance. However, wind tunnels of the time were inadequate for carrying out this kind of research. One P-51B, one P-51D and two P-51H Mustangs were the primary aircraft used at Ames in wing-flow test flights. In another approach to acquiring transonic aerodynamic data, heavily weighted models of the configuration of interest were dropped from high altitudes. In those tests, which were conducted at Edwards AFB, aerodynamic bodies that were to be evaluated in the transonic flight regime were released from an aircraft at altitudes up to 43,000 feet. The F-15A-1-NO aircraft, a reconnaissance model of the P-61 night fighter, was used for these tests.

Aerodynamics Research

Early flight research that focused on aerodynamic issues was concerned with understanding drag, air loads, and compressibility phenomena that influenced both the performance and control of the aircraft at high speed. This work was motivated by problems uncovered in the design of these high-performance aircraft and in early operational experience with them. Furthermore, as Ames engineers and pilots gathered information on their own, additional ideas surfaced that suggested new approaches to solving these problems. During and after World War II, a number of military aircraft were used in general investigations of high-speed flight phenomena. With the coming of the jet aircraft, compressible flow phenomena raised issues with aircraft performance and handling, leading to new demands for flight testing. The YP-80A was the first jet aircraft at Ames. Aerodynamic research in flight was concluded with the F5D-1 tests in 1961. At that time, high-performance flight research was transferred by NASA headquarters directive to the Flight Research Center at Edwards AFB.

Flying Qualities, Stability and Control, and Performance Evaluations

As a consequence of the United States involvement in World War II, a number of aircraft were sent to Ames by the military services for the principal purpose of obtaining flying qualities evaluations and stability and control and performance assessments using the expertise of Ames pilots and engineers. Many of these aircraft spent a relatively short time at the laboratory, but a few were modified substantially and then used in more extensive research programs. The aircraft at Ames that were heavily instrumented for flying qualities evaluations and stability and control measurements were the A-20A Havoc, B-25D Mitchell, A-35A Vengeance, B-26B Marauder, BT-13B Valiant, PV-1 Ventura, XP-75A-1 Eagle, XP-47M-1 Thunderbolt, P-51F Mustang, F4U-4 Corsair, P-61A-5 Black Widow, SBD-1P Dauntless, and the XP-70 (the first American night fighter, converted from the A-20 Havoc). The B-25 was also used for engine-out control tests. Flying qualities tests on the A-26B Invader led to modifications to the longitudinal and lateral control systems to reduce maneuver control forces based on results of tests obtained in the 40- by 80-foot wind tunnel. Flight evaluations confirmed that the control forces had been reduced to an acceptable level. The FM-2 Wildcat was used for evaluation of carrier landings. Two OS2U-2 Kingfisher, a Navy scout aircraft, underwent testing and modification to improve performance and longitudinal control. Stability and control and flying qualities evaluations were carried out on a number of high-performance propeller and jet aircraft, including the XBT2D-1 (Skyraider prototype), F6U-1 Pirate, F7F-3 Tigercat, F8F-1 Bearcat, F-84C Thunderjet, F-84F-5-RE Thunderstreak, and the F5D-1 Skylancer. The F8F-1 was also used to examine buffet, including tests with the propeller feathered and engine shut down to permit the aerodynamic contribution to be identified. The F-86A Sabre underwent stall and spin testing. The prototype of the Boeing 707 commercial jet transport, the 367-80, was used for developing flying qualities criteria pertaining to large transport aircraft designs.

Variable Stability Aircraft

In 1948, an F6F-3 Hellcat was modified by Ames engineers to become the world's first variable stability aircraft. The genesis of this idea followed an investigation (noted previously) into the desired wing dihedral for the Ryan FR-1 Fireball. Three of these aircraft were built, each with a different dihedral angle, to narrow the final design option. Following the development of the F6F, and as high-performance swept-wing jet aircraft came to the fore, evolution of the variable stability concept came about on a series of F-86 aircraft and eventually on an F-100C. To develop lateral-directional flying qualities requirements for the high-performance aircraft of that time, an F-86A and later an F-86E were modified for variable stability. During the years that the F6F and F-86s flew as variable stability test beds, a variety of new aircraft designs were simulated in order to investigate their flying qualities for a range of piloting tasks. The new designs included the D-558-II, XF-10F, X-1, B-58, XF-104, XF8U-1, F9F-9, XT-37, B-57D, T-38, and the P6M. The last high-performance fighter developed with the variable stability capability was the F-100C, the first three-axis (pitch, roll, and yaw) variable stability aircraft at Ames. The X-14A and B and the CH-47B were also very productive variable stability aircraft that were used to develop V/STOL and rotary-wing aircraft flying qualities criteria. These aircraft are listed in the V/STOL and rotorcraft categories, but their research systems trace their lineage to the original variable stability aircraft.

Gunsight Tracking and Guidance and Control Displays

The control system expertise that Ames engineers were beginning to acquire went beyond variable stability aircraft. Using the new capabilities available with electronic systems, efforts were expanded into the areas of guidance, control, and displays, and a number of aircraft were adapted for those purposes. A particular demand for this technology at the time involved precision tracking of a target aircraft. In order to understand the contributions of the aircraft's response to precision tracking, a series of flight tests was performed in which the tracking performance of two straight-wing fighters, the P-51H and the F8F-1, was compared with that of two swept-wing candidates, the F-86A and F-86E. Each aircraft used a fixed gunsight. The F-102A and F-106A tests that involved Ames consisted of evaluations of the fire-control and auto-maneuvering systems. The fire-control system used in the F-106A was designated MA-1. One of the F-102A aircraft flew with an adaptive control normal acceleration command system that was able to maintain consistently satisfactory response characteristics from landing approach to low supersonic speeds at altitude.

In-Flight Thrust Reversing, Steep Approach Research

The Navy took increased interest in low-speed flight when the introduction of jet aircraft to the aircraft carrier revealed flying qualities problems that had not been experienced with piston-powered aircraft. One concern related to the adverse effect on flightpath control of the jet engine's slow response to the pilot's throttle inputs. Following an early simulation investigation of the selection of approach speeds for landings aboard ship, an in-flight thrust reverser was evaluated as one means to allow pilots to quickly change the longitudinal component of thrust without having to change engine rpm. This concept was investigated in the 40- by 80-foot wind tunnel at Ames in order to determine stability and control influences; flight tests in the F-94C aircraft then followed. Terminal-area approach and landing studies continued at Ames with conventional aircraft. The first CV-990 at Ames, which became the airborne science platform, Galileo I, was used for direct lift control (DLC) research in 1968. Steep descent testing, including power-off landing approaches and demonstration of minimum lift-to-drag ratio (L/D) landings came out of the interest in the use of low L/D lifting bodies for recovery to landing from space. The question posed to the flight research organization concerned how low an aircraft's L/D could be for the aircraft to still be landed successfully. Flight tests with the JF-104A Starfighter were conducted by Fred Drinkwater, who demonstrated steep approaches that were ultimately used by the space shuttle.

Boundary Layer Control, STOL, V/STOL Aircraft Research

Motivated by the military's interest in reducing landing speeds for their jet fighter aircraft, Ames aerodynamicists began to explore practical ways of controlling the boundary layer of free-stream air on wings, high-lift devices, and control surfaces in the 1950s. Extensive testing was done in the 40- by 80-foot wind tunnel to explore different approaches for boundary-layer control. led to flight investigations of a variety of boundary-layer control concepts on the F-86F over the period 1954-57, including suction at the leading edge of the wing, suction at the leading edge of the flap, and blowing over the flap to energize the boundary layer. Ames continued its flight investigation of boundary-layer control lift augmentation in tests of the FJ-3, F9F-4, and F9F-6 aircraft. The F9F-6 was also used to obtain low-speed lift and drag data during approach. The F-100A aircraft was used in a test of blown leading-edge and trailing-edge flaps. The experience gained from all this testing was utilized in designing the blown flap systems used on the F-104 Starfighter and the F-4 Phantom II and in designing the short takeoff and landing (STOL) transport aircraft to come.

Short takeoff and landing flight research was motivated by the desire of military and civil operators for transport aircraft with short-field operational capability and jet cruise speeds. For Ames, it was a natural extension of the earlier boundary-layer control activity undertaken to achieve low-speed performance. The first STOL flight research at the Center involved two transports that had been developed for the Air Force, the YC-134A and NC-130B. Both aircraft used boundary-layer control over the flaps to augment lift. The OV-10A Bronco, which was the first of the several flight projects flown at Ames, served as the test bed for the rotating-cylinder-flap concept. A modified deHavilland C-8A Buffalo, the Augmentor Wing Jet STOL Research Aircraft (AWJSRA), was the research aircraft used in evaluating the augmentor wing concept and was the world's first jet STOL transport demonstrator. The Quiet Short-Haul Research Aircraft (QSRA) was the last of the STOL transport designs to be carried to flight evaluations by the Ames project office.

Ames became the center for V/STOL research when the NACA was absorbed into NASA. This decision was a consequence of Ames' experience with low-speed aircraft flying qualities and of the availability of the 40- by 80-foot wind tunnel for low-speed, full-scale aircraft testing. Ames' experience with V/STOL configurations in the late 1950s came from flying the VZ-3, X-14, and XV-3, along with the VZ-2 and VZ-4, and formed the basis for early attempts to define flying qualities criteria and to gain an understanding of operational techniques for these aircraft. The first jet VTOL aircraft to be flown at Ames was the X-14, a configuration developed by Bell Aerospace for the Air Force from a Beech T-34 wing and tail. The first successful tilt-rotor aircraft, the XV-3, was produced by Bell Helicopter for the Air Force and Army and went through extensive development testing in the 40- by 80-foot wind tunnel before being flown by the Air Force at Edwards AFB and subsequently at Ames. The last of the V/STOL research aircraft flown at Ames was the YAV-8B Harrier. It was lent to Ames by the U.S. Marines in 1984 so that Ames could carry out a program of advanced controls and displays research that the Marines anticipated would be applied to the next generation of V/STOL fighter aircraft. Flight research was completed with this aircraft in late 1997.

Rotorcraft Research

Rotorcraft flight research began in earnest at Ames in the early 1970s in conjunction with the newly established program between NASA and the U.S. Army in rotorcraft technology and further to support NASA's emphasis on civil rotorcraft. This work accelerated in the late 1970s with the arrival of several aircraft from NASA Langley when rotorcraft research was consolidated at Ames. After its arrival at Ames, the UH-1H was flown extensively in a series of experiments to develop and evaluate control systems for fully automatic flight for helicopters. The AH-1G White Cobra, the original NASA 736, had originally been flight tested at Langley Research Center to examine the effects of different aerodynamic blade designs on rotor performance and loads. On its arrival at Ames, the Tip Aerodynamics and Acoustics Test was initiated to obtain extensive aerodynamic and load measurements to provide a better understanding of prediction methods and of the underlying physical phenomena for this rotor. Helicopter test beds for investigating new rotor concepts in flight were developed under a NASA/Army program at Langley Research Center and later transferred to Ames to be used as flight research facilities. Two vehicles, built by Sikorsky Aircraft, were known as the Rotor Systems Research Aircraft (RSRA), one in a helicopter configuration, the other a compound helicopter. Boeing's CH-47B Chinook was further developed by the Army and NASA as a variable stability helicopter at the NASA Langley Research Center. It was transferred to Ames in 1979 in support of Ames' newly assigned lead role for NASA rotorcraft research. A UH-60A Black Hawk (NASA 748) with conventional structural instrumentation installed on the blades was tested in 1987 at Edwards AFB under Ames' sponsorship as part of the Modern Rotor Aerodynamic Limits Survey. This Black Hawk was also used in a test program to develop and demonstrate a method for identifying system stability and flying qualities for slung-load operations. The slung load consisted of an instrumented 8- by 6- by 6-foot cargo container. A second Black Hawk, originally the Boeing Advanced Digital Optical Control System demonstrator, arrived in 1989 as the replacement vehicle for its predecessor, the CH-47B, to carry on the variable stability and control and guidance system research of the Center.

From the start of Ames crew station and human factors flight research, experiments were carried out on the JAH-1S Cobra. This helicopter, called the Flying Laboratory for Integrated Test and Evaluation (FLITE), arrived at Ames in 1985. It was the first Cobra on which the prototype AH-64 visually coupled night vision system helmet mounted display (HMD) was installed. The NAH-1S, the successor to the original FLITE Cobra, has been used extensively in joint NASA/Army human factors research in the areas of night vision displays and voice communications since its arrival at Ames in 1987. Several major research programs were undertaken by NASA, with the Army as a major partner. Tests were carried out on the AH-1, XV-15 and UH-60 aircraft.

The Earth Science Project Office manages various aircraft, such as the CV-990, Lockeed C-130, Learjet, from 1971 the U-2 and from 1981 the ER-2, which is the centerpiece of an research programm in earth and atmospheric science that flourished at ARC beginning in the late 1960s until relocating its aircraft to DFRC in 1997 and to Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility in 2009.

SOFIA - NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy

SOFIA's science operations are being planned jointly by the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) and the Deutsches SOFIA Institut (DSI) under leadership of the SOFIA Science project at NASA's Ames Research Center. Once it begins operations in about 2010, SOFIA'S 2.5-meter (100 inch) diameter reflecting telescope will provide astronomers with access to the visible, infrared and sub-millimeter spectrum, with optimized performance in the mid-infrared to sub-millimeter range. During its 20-year expected lifetime it will be capable of "Great Observatory"-class astronomical science.

SOFIA will continue the legacy of prominent planetary scientist Dr. Gerard Kuiper, who began airborne astronomy in 1966 with a 12-inch telescope aimed out a window of a converted Convair 990 jetliner. His work led to the development of NASA's Kuiper Airborne Observatory, a modified C-141 aircraft incorporating a 36-inch reflecting telescope that flew from 1974 to 1995. During its 21-year lifetime, the Kuiper Airborne Observatory focused on solar system, galactic and extra-galactic astronomy, and discovered the rings of Uranus, a ring of dust around the center of the Milky Way, luminous infrared galaxies, complex organic molecules in space and water in comets.

As the world's largest airborne astronomical observatory, a modified Boeing 747SP, SOFIA will provide three times better image quality and vastly increased observational sensitivity than the Kuiper Airborne Observatory. From DAOF, SOFIA mission operations will be conducted over virtually the entire globe. Missions will be flown at altitudes of 39,000 to 45,000 feet, above 99 percent of the water vapor in the lower atmosphere that restrict the capabilities of ground-based observatories over most of the infrared and sub-millimeter spectral range.

On May 19, 1995, NASA announced that for cost savings every aircraft in the NASA fleet -- operational as well as experimental -- would be consolidated at Dryden. Ames had the most to lose. Of the seventy aircraft in NASA’s fleet, Ames then serviced twelve—three ER-2s, one DC-8, one C-130, one Learjet, one C-141 and five helicopters. Moving the airborne science airplanes provoked the most controversy. In November 1997 the last Ames aircraft flew off to Dryden.

When NASA headquarters transferred other Ames aircraft to Dryden, the Army aeroflightdynamics directorate insisted that its research helicopters should stay at Ames. After several years of negotiation, in July 1997 NASA headquarters signed a directive that Ames would continue to support the Army’s rotorcraft airworthiness research using three helicopters. One UH-60 Blackhawk configured as the RASCAL (Rotorcraft Aircrew Systems Concepts Airborne Laboratory) remained as the focus for advanced controls. The NASA/Army rotorcraft division, led by Edwin Aiken, used it to develop programmable, fly-bywire controls for nap-of-the-earth maneuvering. Another UH-60 Blackhawk was rigged for air loads tests, and an AH-1 Cobra was configured as the Flying Laboratory for Integrated Test and Evaluation (FLITE).

Ames Research Center is one of NASA’s 10 major centers and is located in the heart of California's Silicon Valley, near the high-tech companies, entrepreneurial ventures, universities and other laboratories that fuel the region's reputation for technology development and research. The Silicon Valley is a fitting location for Ames, a NASA leader in such mission-enabling, cutting-edge work.

Ames plays a critical role in virtually all NASA missions in support of America's space and aeronautics programs. It provides leadership in Astrobiology; small satellites; robotic lunar exploration; technologies for the Constellation Program; the search for habitable planets; supercomputing; intelligent/adaptive systems; advanced thermal protection; and airborne astronomy. Ames also develops tools for a safer, more efficient national airspace and unique partnerships benefiting NASA’s mission.

Ames is also a mission center for several key current NASA Science missions (Kepler Mission, Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS), Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA)) and a major contributor to the new Exploration focus of the Agency as a participant in the Orion crew exploration vehicle, and the Ares I crew launch vehicle.

Air Bases:
Base Duration
Moffett Field/Mountain View/CA 1939 - 1941
NAS Moffett Field/Mountain View/CA 1941 - 1994
Moffett Federal Airfield/Mountain View/CA 1994 - Present

Aircraft Used:
Type Qty Service Example Serials
North American O-47A 1 1940 - 1946 no
Lockheed 12A 1 1941 - 1947 97
Consolidated B-24D Liberator 1 1942 - 1942 no
Boeing B-17F Flying Fortress 1 1942 - 1943 no
Curtiss C-46A Commando 1 1943 - 1949 no
Douglas BTD-1 1 1944 - 1947 no
Lockheed P-38J Lightning 1 1944 - 1946 no
North American P-51B/D/H Mustang 1/1/2 1944 - 1956 no,110
Northrop F-15A-1-NO Reporter 1 1948 - 1954 111
Northrop P-61C Black Widow 1 1951 - 1954 111
Lockheed P-38F Lightning 1 1942 - 1943 no
North American P-51B Mustang 2 1944 - 1947 no
Bell P-63A Kingcobra 2 1944 - 1946 no
Douglas XSB2D-1 1 1944 - 1946 no
Lockheed P-80A Shooting Star 2 1944 - 1955 no,131
Republic P-47D Thunderbolt 1 1945 - 1947 no
Republic YP-84A Thunderjet 1 1947 - 1948 no
North American F-86A/D/E Sabre 1/1/1 1949 - 1960 116,149,157
North American YF-93A 2 1951 - 1953 139,151
Douglas F4D-1 Skyray 1 1956 - 1959 no
North American YF-93A 2 1951 - 1953 139,151
Douglas F5D Skylancer 2 1957 - 1963 212,213
Vought OS2U-2 Kingfisher 2 1942 - 1944 no
Brewster F2A Buffalo 1 1942 - 1943 no
Douglas A-20A Havoc 1 1943 - 1943 no
North American B-25D Mitchell 1 1943 - 1943 no
Vultee A-35A Vengeance 1 1943 - 1943 no
Martin B-26B Marauder 1 1943 - 1943 no
Lockheed PV-1 Ventura 1 1944 - 1944 no
North American P-51D Mustang 1 1944 - 1944 no
Northrop P-61A Black Widow 1 1944 - 1944 no
Vultee BT-13B 2 1944 - 1945 no
Douglas BTD-1 1 1944 - 1947 no
Douglas XP-70 1 1944 - 1944 no
Grumman XF7F-1 Tigercat 1 1944 - 1948 no
Fisher XP-75A Eagle 1 1944 - 1946 no
Republic XP-47M Thunderbolt 1 1945 - 1945 no
Ryan FR-1 Fireball 6 1945 - 1947 no
General Motors FM-2 Wildcat 1 1945 - 1946 no
North American XP-51F Mustang 1 1947 - 1949 no
Douglas SB2D-1 1 1945 - 1947 no
Douglas A-26B Invader 1 1945 - 1951 no
Vought F4U-4 Corsair 1 1945 - 1947 no
Lockheed P-80A Shooting Star 1 1946 - 1950 no
Grumman F7F-3 Tigercat 4 1946 - 1949 no
Douglas XBT2D-1 1 1946 - 1947 no
Grumman F8F-1 Bearcat 1 1946 - 1953 no
Piper L-4 Cub 1 1948 - 1948 no
Republic F-84C Thunderjet 1 1948 - 1948 no
North American F-86A/D Sabre 2/1 1949 - 1960 116,135,149
Lockheed XR6O-1 Constitution 1 1949 - 1950 no
Vought F6U-1 Pirate 2 1950 - 1953 no,138
Republic F-84F Thunderstreak 1 1953 - 1957 155
North American F-86F Sabre 1 1953 - 1965 228
Lockheed F-94C Starfire 1 1954 - 1958 156
North American FJ-3 Fury 1 1954 - 1956 no
Grumman F9F-6 Cougar 2 1954 - 1955 no
Vought F7U-3 Cutlass 1 1955 - 1955 no
Douglas F4D-1 Skyray 1 1956 - 1959 no
North American F-100C Super Sabre 2 1956 - 1960 53-1709,54-1964
Douglas F5D Skylancer 1 1957 - 1961 213
Lockheed T-33A Shooting Star 1 1957 - 1965 720
Chance Vought F8U-3 Crusader 1 1959 - 1960 225
Boeing 707 1 1967 - 1968 no
Grumman F6F Hellcat 1 1945 - 1960 158
North American F-86A/D/E Sabre 1/1/1 1950 - 1960 135,149,157
North American F-100C Super Sabre 1 1956 - 1972 703
Bell X-14 1 1959 - 1971 234
Boeing-Vertol CH-47B Chinook 1 1979 - 1989 N737NA
Grumman F8F-1 Bearcat 1 1946 - 1953 no
North American F-51H Mustang 1 1946 - 1961 130
Douglas R4D-7 Skytrain 1 1946 - 1965 701(1)
Curtiss SB2C-5 Helldiver 1 1948 - 1955 147
North American F-86A/D/E/F Sabre 1/3/1/1 1949 - 1965 116,205,216,228
Grumman F6F Hellcat 1 1950 - 1960 208
Lockheed TV-1 Shooting Star 1 1953 - 1960 206
Republic F-84F Thunderstreak 1 1954 - 1954 no
Grumman F9F-8 Cougar 1 1955 - 1955 no
Convair F-102A Delta Dagger 2 1957 - 1960 61358,56-1304
Convair F-106B Delta Dart 1 1958 - 1959 57-235
Convair 340 1 1963 - 1976 N707NA(1)
Cessna 402B 1 1975 - 1983 N719NA(1)
Beech 200 King Air 1 1983 - 1997 N701NA(3)
Lockheed F-94C Starfire 1 1954 - 1958 156
Lockheed JF-104A Starfighter 1 1958 - 1960 56-0745
Convair 990 Coronado 2 1964 - 1985 N711NA,N712NA
North American F-86F Sabre 1 1953 - 1965 228
North American FJ-3 Fury 1 1954 - 1956 no
Grumman F9F-4/6 Cougar 1/1 1954 - 1955 no
North American F-100A Super Sabre 1 1956 - 1960 200
Ryan VZ-3 Vertiplane 1 1958 - 1966 235
Fairchild YC-143A 1 1959 - 1961 222
Bell XV-3 1 1959 - 1965 no
Bell X-14 1 1959 - 1971 234
Lockheed NC-130B Hercules 1 1961 - 1967 707
Hiller YROE-1 3 1961 - 1961 no
Convair 340 1 1963 - 1976 N707NA(1)
Ryan 143 XV-5B 1 1964 - 1974 N705NA
Boeing 707 1 1967 - 1968 no
Rockwell OV-10A Bronco 1 1968 - 1976 N718NA(1)
Bell X-14 1 1971 - 1981 N704NA
de Havilland C-8A Buffalo 2 1972 - 1993 N715NA,N716NA
de Havilland DHC-6-100 Twin Otter 1 1973 - 1979 N720NA
Bell XV-15 2 1978 - 1994 N702NA,N703NA
Hawker Siddeley AV-8B/C Harrier 1/1 1984 - 1995 N704NA(2),N719NA
Hiller H-23C/D Raven 1/1 1958 - 1962 56-2288,59-2758
Hiller H-23C Raven 1 1963 - 1976 N706NA(1)
Bell UH-1B/H Iroquois 1/2 1970 - 1993 N732NA,N733NA,N734NA
Hughes OH-6A Cayuse 1 1976 - 1981 N731NA
Lockheed YO-3A-LM 1 1977 - 1997 N718NA(2)
Sikorsky SH-3G Sea King 1 1977 - 1993 N735NA
Bell AH-1G/S Cobra 1/2 1978 - n/a N730NA,N736NA(1)(2)
Sikorsky S-72 RSRA 2 1979 - 1991 N740NA,N741NA
Boeing-Vertol CH-47B Chinook 1 1979 - 1989 N737NA
Sikorsky UH-60A Blackhawk 2 1988 - n/a N748NA,N750NA
Convair 990 Coronado 1 1964 - 1973 N711NA
Learjet 23 1 1965 - 1980 N701NA(2)
Lockheed U-2C Dragon Lady 2 1971 - 1989 N708NA(2),N709NA(1)
Convair 990 Coronado 1 1973 - 1985 N712NA
Lockheed ER-2 2 1981 - 1989

N706NA(2),N709NA(2), operated at the DAOF

McDonnell Douglas DC-8 1 1985 - 1998 N717NA(2), operated at the DAOF
Convair 990 Coronado (Galileo I) 1 1966 - 1983 N710NA
Lockheed C-141A Starlifter (Kuiper) 1 1971 - 1995 N714NA
Boeing 747 (SOFIA) 1 2008 - 2009 N747NA, operated at the DAOF
Douglas R4D-6 Skytrain 1 1946 - 1965 278
Fairchild C-82A Packet 1 1947 - 1961 107
Lockheed F-104A Starfighter 2 1957 - 1961


Douglas F5D Skylancer 1 1963 - 1968 708(1)
Lockheed T-33A Shooting Star 1 1971 - 1973 N715NA(1)
Northrop T-38A Talon 1 1973 - n/a N717NA(1)
Learjet 24A 1 1974 - 1982 N705NA(2)
Beech 200 King Air 1 1982 - 2001 N7NA(2),operated for JPL

Unit Insignia:


Ames Research Center


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First Created: 15 July 2009 - Last Revised: 15 December 2009
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