European Facility For Airborne Research

European Facility For Airborne Research April 15, 2024, 11:53

Aircraft: WB-57F - NASA

Aircraft acronym WB-57F - NASA Registration number N926NA N927NA N928NA
Operator National Aeronautics and Space Administration Transnational Access status Closed to TA
Manufacturer Glenn L. Martin Company, Martin WB-57F Engine category Jet
Aircraft type Research Categories Land/Sea surface properties, Stratospheric , Troposphere


  • Length: 20.8 m
  • Height: 6.22 m
  • Wingspan: 37.31 m
Airplane dimensions 20.8 m 6.22 m 37.31 m

Flying performances

Min speed 62 m/s
Max speed 98 m/s
Usual speed during measurements 77 m/s
Usual speed during transit flights 85 m/s
Ascent rate 10 m/s
Min altitude
  • Above sea: 2 000 ft
  • Above ground: 2 000 ft
Max ceiling 65 000 ft
Usual ceiling during measurements 60 000 ft
Ceiling limitations

65 000 ft

Empty weight 18 144 kg
Max take-off weight 32 659 kg
Max payload 4 400 kg
Max scientific payload 4 400 kg (X-coordinate of 2nd point)
Usual scientific payload during measurements 680 kg
Scientific payload for max endurance n/c

Max endurance at min scientific payload and max fuel 6 h (Y-coordinate of 1st point)
Endurance at max scientific payload 6 h (Y-coordinate of 2nd point)

Max range 4 630 km (at min scientific payload and max fuel)
Conditions for max range

at 55,000 feet, payload: 2268 kg

Range at max scientific payload 4 630 km
Usual range during measurement flight 4 075 km

Weather conditions limitations

Max Crosswind for Takeoff: 10.3 m/s ; Max Crosswind for Landing: 7.7 m/s ; Cruise in moderate or less turbulence ; Avoid Icing

Take-off runway length 2 134 m

2 x Curtiss Wright J65


Dual Electronic ADI and HSI, Dual ADDU, Dual IRU, GPS, FMS, TCAS/TAWS, Autopilot, TACAN, DME, ADF, VOR/ILS, HF/VHF/UHF, UHF SatCom, Iridium SatPhone, Flight Data Recorder, Satellite Data Links (see Acquisition Systems section)

Crew and scientists on board

Crew (pilots + operators)


Seats available for scientists



Length n/a m
Width n/a m
Height n/a m


Cabin pressurized


More information

The WB-57 can carry up to 4400 kg of payload (including the empty weights of the pallets, spearpods and superpods). Refer to the table below for maximum gross weight limits for the various payload integration locations. The aircraft is sensitive to Center of Gravity (CG) location, so ballast may need to be added (primarily in the nose), which subtracts from overall payload capacity.

Payload Integration Location --- Payload (Maximum) --- Empty Weight
3-foot unpressurized Pallet ------------ 454 kg ----------------- ~75 kg
3-foot pressurized Pallet ---------------- 454 kg ---------- ~181 kg (estimated)
6-foot unpressurized Pallet ------------ 907 kg ----------------- ~112 kg
6-foot pressurized Pallet ---------------- 907 kg ----------------- ~318 kg (estimated)
Nose Cone ------------------------ 433 kg ----------------- ~105 kg
Aft Fuselage ------------ CG dependent, contact WB-57 Program Office
Spearpod Forebody ------------------ 168 kg ------------------- ~41 kg
Superpod ------------ Pylon and Forebody: 644 kg - Pylon: ~230 kg
-------------------------------------------- Forebody: 181 kg ----- Forebody: ~64 kg
Winghatch --------------------------- 29 kg ------------------ ~2.5 kg

Aircraft modifications

Nose boom

Not program provided but can accommodate customer specific hardware installations


Not program provided but can accommodate customer specific hardware installations


Not program provided but can accommodate customer specific hardware installations

Hard points

Contact program for specifics


Not program provided but can accommodate customer specific hardware installations

Additionnal systems

Day Night Airborne Motion Imagery for Terrestrial Environments (DyNAMITE)

Acquisition systems

Available interface to Air Data, IRU, and GPS ARINC 429 and RS232 data streams, Ethernet interface to onboard computer network, Ku or INMARSAT communication system for real time downlink to ground stations

Electrical power

Aircraft total electrical power (kW)


Electrical power (kW) and voltages (V) available for scientists

28VDC - 7kW ; 115VAC 400Hz 3phase - 11kW per phase ; 115VAC 60Hz 1phase - 4 kW

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