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NASA AND THE F-106

Lewis [Glenn] Research Center, Cleveland OH
Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards AFB, CA
Langley Research Center, Hampton VA

F-106s 30 YEARS WITH NASA

NASA and the F-106 had a long relationship together conducting research, test and development for more than 30 years out of the Langley Research Center, Hampton VA, Lewis Research Center, Cleveland OH (renamed John H. Glenn Research Center 1 Mar 1999) and Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards AFB, CA

Two F-106B aircraft were assigned to NASA as part of it's research projects:
  • F-106B 57-2516 as NASA NF-106B using serial numbers N616NA and N816NA
  • F-106B 57-2507 as NASA NF-106B using serial numbers N607NA and N607NM

Each NASA Research Center had it's own Aircraft Tail Number Assignment Designation code for the aircraft assigned at the time. This was the 'lead number' for their assigned aircraft tail number. However, it is expected that the aircraft may have flown with different Centers with an actual number change. While the aircraft did spend a lot of time at Langley Research Center, a NASA tail number of 516 has not been found (5 being Langley).

NASA Archive Images
NasaCRgis: NF-106B N816NA
Defense Video and Imagery Distribution System (F-106)


F-106B 57-2516, NASA NF-106B N616NA and N816NA

Courtesy of Langley GIS Team
NASA used F-106B 57-2516 for 30 years designated at different times as NASA 616 and 816. It served as the test vehicle for a series of important Air Force and NASA research projects and was transferred to the Langley Research Center in January 1979. While at Langley it was associated with buildings 7 x 10-Foot High-Speed Tunnel, the Full-Scale Tunnel, and the hangar. Prior its retirement in May 1991, making it the last known manned F-106 passing from active service, it was utilized in projects for: - Research and Development Testing for U.S. Air Force
- Supersonic Transport Program
- Storm Hazards Research
- Vortex Flap Flight Experiment at Langley Research Center
- Off-Surface Flow Visualization System
- Landing Systems
Now on display at the Virginia Air and Space Museum

Video of Retirement Ceremony, Booklet and Program
Vortex Flap Testing in 7X10-Foot High Speed Tunnel
Storm Hazards Lightning Strike Research
Inlet Testing in the Unitary Tunnel



F-106B 57-2507, NASA NF-106B N607NA and N607NM

NASA used F-106B 57-2507 at the Langley Research Center in several different research projects to include: - Upper Atmosphere Particulate Sampling Research
- Ocean Color Scanner System
- And for its final mission it was used to create the NASA Wind Tunnel model in 1988 for Vortex Flap and In-flight Visualization Research where NASA cut it in half lengthwise so that the left hand side could be mounted in the wind tunnel to test the vortex flap used on F-106B 57-2516 NASA N816NA.
- Tom Luck writes on 4 Mar 2014 "I worked on a number of jobs at NASA Langley's full scale wind tunnel and they jokingly referred to this 'Cut in Half' F-106 as the F-53, which is 1/2 of 106".
Upper Atmosphere Particulate Sampling
Ocean Color Scanner System
NASA Chase Plane


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