The F-18 HARV or High Alpha Research Vehicle was a NASA testbed used to study performance at high angles of attack or alpha. The aircraft flew from 1989 to 1996 in a 3 phase research program that progressively added modifications to the Hornet.
The aircraft that would become the F-18 HARV was actually a pre production F/A-18 and the sixth one ever built. Having been assigned Bureau Number 160780, this particular F18 was chosen as a testbed because it had a spin chute installed as the NAVY had used it to evaluate spin performance and recovery. Under NASAs use the aircraft was designated aircraft number 840.
Link to the thrust vectoring F-15ACTIVE episode: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1555784/8314527
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