|By Fred Harl|
Honeywell has employed the former Eastern Airlines 757 test bed aircraft since 2008 to evaluate its products from satellite communications, avionics and even an engine mounted on a pod on the right side of the forward fuselage. The cabin features modular crew stations for the test team, and supplemental oxygen is provided during the typical 5-hour flight at altitudes up to 45,000 feet. The Aero Experience also toured the aircraft during a mission out of Mid-America Airport adjacent to Scott AFB, IL in 2013. See our story here.
NASA's Lockheed S-3 Viking was initially accepted into U.S. Navy service in 1978, and it was acquired by NASA in 2003. The aircraft is configured to test communications equipment for unmanned aerial vehicles, but it can be fitted with up to 14,000 pounds of test equipment for a variety of missions. NASA plans to fly the aircraft until 2020.