VX-31 Website

VX-31 Aircraft Operated for Range Support

Aircraft Gallery

fa18F

VX-31 range support F/A-18F aircraft prepare to take off from China Lake for a flight test with a squadron FA-18C project test aircraft. (U.S. Navy Photo by Michael McGinnis)

FA-18

VX-31 F/A-18F Side #214 is representative of range support Super Hornets as it taxis to runway 32 at NAWS China Lake.
(U.S. Navy Photo by Michael McGinnis)

F/A-18 Super Hornet

Overview
VX-31 operates two F/A-18F Super Hornets as range support aircraft that can provide airborne target presentations, range instrumentation and threat calibration, photo and safety chase, and any other use other than end item test flights.  Because maintenance and consumable costs of operating the aircraft are funded  each year by NAVAIR, DOD customers need only pay for the fuel that is consumed during each flight.  The fiscal year 2010 customer cost per flight hour is $3,425.00, making these aircraft very attractive assets for the range and flight test support role.  These two aircraft are not scheduled as project test aircraft for end-item testing.

Capabilities
Both aircraft, side numbers 211 and 212, are production two-place lot-25
Super Hornets with APG-73 radar systems, ALR-67 Radar Warning Receiver (RWR), and Multifunctional Information Distribution System (MIDS) with Link-16 capability. 

The aircraft can reach speeds up to 1.5 Mach and altitudes up to 50,000 feet. 

The aft cockpit has excellent field-of-view for photographers and safety observers.

Last Update 06-Sep-2013 9:55