Today (December 11, 1969), the YF-12A will be flown for the first time under a joint National Aeronautics and Space Administration and U.
Today (December 11, 1969), the YF-12A will be flown for the first time under a joint National Aeronautics and Space Administration and U.S. Air Force flight test program which was announced last July. The flight takes place at Edwards Air Force Base, California. (This film shows the YF-12A during a previous mission while under the Air Force test program.)
Under the terms of the program, the Air Force has made available two YF-12A aircraft to NASA. Included are spare parts, associated ground equipment, base support at Edwards, and Air Force maintenance personnel.
The recent termination of the XB-70 program left NASA and certain portions of the Air Force research and development community without a suitable supersonic cruise research and development gap for both agencies.
The Air Force is seeking additional data on operation factors, development of procedures and establishment of limitations relating to command and control problems, and establishment of possible bomber penetration tactics against an interceptor with the YF-12A performance and capability.
NASA is seeking data on altitude-hold at supersonic speeds, boundary layer noise, heat transfer under high speed conditions, airframe-propulsion system interactions involving effects of engine inlet performance, and other performance and handling characteristics.
Joint Air Force/NASA support during this program includes mission planning, data reduction, reporting, test operations, range and chase aircraft as required.