Aviation - Avions NASA-Prototypes
(La description de cette image n'existe qu'en anglais)
F-104G (N826NA) in flight over the Mojave Desert in January 1988. This aircraft was the last of eleven F-104s delivered to the Dryden Flight Research Center over a period of four decades. The initial group of four (a YF-104A, two F-104As and a two-seat F-104B) arrived between August 1956 and December 1959. One of the F-104As was returned to the Air Force in 1961, and the other was lost in a non-fatal accident in 1962. To support X-15 activities, three special F-104Ns went to NASA in 1963. One crashed in the XB-70 midair collision, and it was replaced by an F-104A/G. (This was an F-104A modified to a G configuration.) As the initial F-104 fleet aged, a pair of two-seat TF-104Gs and a single-seat F-104G joined the Dryden inventory in June 1975. F-104G N826NA, shown in the photo, was one of these. Between 1975 and 1990, the older F-104s were retired - the YF-104A in November 1975, the F-104A/G in June 1977, the F-104B in June 1983, and the two F-104Ns in January 1987 and October 1990. As the F-104s phased out, the replacement F-18s started arriving at Dryden in 1984. F-104s N826NA made its 1,415th and last flight on February 3, 1994. The last two TF-104s ended service in September 1995, ending a 39 year involvement with the aircraft by the NACA and NASA.