Calspan has secured a contract to continue to support the US Air Force Test Pilot School (USAF TPS) at Edwards Air Force Base in California, US.
Under the contract, worth more than $20m, the company will provide services, including support for the Variable Stability In-Flight Simulator and Test Aircraft (VISTA), over the next five years.
The scope of the agreement includes maintenance, operations support, engineering, and curriculum development for the USAF TPS VISTA/F-16.
Launched in the 1980s, the VISTA/F-16 programme has been developing and testing new flight technologies that affect operational readiness and force projection.
The VISTA/F-16 experimental aircraft offers fully programmable flight controls and avionics systems. They are claimed to provide an outlet to safely simulate environments not available with any other airframe or system.
The USAF TPS trains pilots, navigators and engineers in conducting flight tests and generating the data needed to carry out test missions.
Calspan’s current fleet of four Learjet IFS enable the safe evaluation of aircraft flight control laws and handling qualities in a real flight environment, even before the aircraft is built.
The company’s in-flight simulation capabilities help customers in conducting evaluations in a real flight environment that includes fully representative motion cues and real-world visual cues.
The capabilities facilitate evaluation of aircraft in the early design process, as soon as a stability and control model exists.