rehearsals and the flight loads laboratories, which are used to test aircraft structures and structural instrumentation prior to flight testing.

Flight Operations and Test Infrastructure

ATP is the major support organization for all of ARMD and also contributes its test and operations capabilities to other NASA mission directorates. ATP is responsible for the operation of ground support capabilities such as simulation facilities, wind tunnels, flight loads labs, and the flight test mission control centers. ATP also provides the mission support fleet of aircraft to meet customer needs, and research aircraft support.

Aeronautics Test Program Flight Test Activities

Although the primary objective of ATP is to operate ground test facilities, it also is involved in flight activities. These flight activities are located primarily at the Dryden Flight Research Center and include the operation of the Western Aeronautical Test Range, and numerous support and testbed aircraft. Used to provide safety chase and video and photo documentation, the support aircraft fleet includes F/A-18, T-38, T-34C, B200 King Air, and other aircraft. The testbed aircraft fleet includes F/A-18, F-15B, ER-2, G III, Global Hawks, and other aircraft. A more detailed list of NASA aircraft is presented in Appendix A.

Aeronautics Test Program Budget

The Aeronautics Test Program has a proposed budget for FY2012 of $79.4 million of ARMD’s $569.4 million.18 ATP’s FY2010 budget was $65.6 million.


18 NASA, NASA FY2012 Budget Estimates for Aeronautics Research, available at

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