52 Votes (4.73 Average) and 7,213 Views  

Martin WB-57 (N927NA)
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Martin WB-57 (N927NA)

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Tom Glass
Fantastic Shot!
Diana Rose
Great shot, magic light. But what's in the nose, a camera? Seems there are small port holes on side of nose.
Andre Blanchard
Fantastic shot and lighting:)
ken kemper
Brendan....

You have a Winner !!
Dan Chiasson
Cannot get much uglier than that. Function over form for this bird.
fholbert
When was this taken? I know NASA flew these long after the AF retired the model. Are they still flying them?
fholbert
To @Dan

So ugly it looks British.
Keith Brown
I used to work these aircraft at Houston Center. I think there were two airframes, I have pictures of another from a static display at an EFD airshow that lacks the stripe down the fuselage, but I don't have any view of the tail number. Also below the cockpit it says "WB57-F" "SN-6313503" "Crew Chief Dale Colclasure" and below that: "Autopilot by El "Dale" O". :-) Several Costa Rica badges on it too which is curious. Anyway, they were used for "High altitude atmospheric research" at least, that's what we were told. They would go up to FL550 and loiter for hours, and when it was time to RTB they took FOREVER to descend from that altitude, something to do with the coffin corner I'll bet but I can't confirm. The line was originally designed and manufactured by English Electric in the late 40s!
Matt Lacey
They are definitely still flying. I live about 4 miles from the south end of EFD, and those things (there are 3) individually sound like a whole squadron of smaller jets when one flies over. Noisy and high pitched with the narrow engines. NASA uses them for various things, sometimes high-altitude weather data, sometimes taking footage of the Dragon capsule entry, sometimes taking footage of the SpaceX Starship hops. At least one of the pilots is on Twitter.
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Date Aircraft Origin Destination Departure Arrival Duration
21-Sep-2022 UnknownHouston Ellington ()Houston Ellington () 13:48 CDT 14:15 CDT 0:27
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