Ahead by a nose – NASA shows its testing skills

My colleague Steve Trimble went to the Society of Experimental Test Pilots’ annual symposium this year, and met some of my personal heroes like Eric “Winkle” Brown. I wanted to go, but a least he brought me back a video. So I have picked a couple of my favourite clips.

The first is of NASA Dryden’s F-15 modified to test Gulfstream’s Quiet Spike telescoping nose boom, which is intended to reduce the sonic boom of a supersonic business jet (and apparently it worked as designed).

The second is of NASA Dyrden’s F-18 completing a “hands-off” contact with the drogue during the first ever autonomous aerial refuelling demonstration, conducted jointly with DARPA (it was a dry run, no fuel was exchanged).

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