View from the cockpit of a NASA research F-15D

NASA operates research support aircraft – commonly called chase planes – that act as escorts during research flights.

The image above shows the view from the cockpit of one of these aircraft after mid-air refuelling.

Below is an image of an NASA F-15 from a research aircraft – this one trialling a new flexible wing.

Chase pilots are in constant radio contact with research pilots and serve as an “extra set of eyes” to help maintain total flight safety during specific tests and maneuvers. They monitor certain events for the research pilot and are an important safety feature on all research missions.

Chase aircraft also are used as camera platforms for research missions that must be photographed or videotaped. Aeronautical engineers use this media to monitor and verify various aspects of research projects.

This picture of a NASA F-15D was taken by an automated Wing Deflection Measurement System camera in G-III during the Adaptive Compliant Trailing Edge (ACTE) project. NASA and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory are testing flexible trailing-edge wing flaps, developed and patented by FlexSys, to see whether they improve aircraft aerodynamic efficiency and reduce airport-area noise generated during takeoffs and landings.

Please login to favourite this article.