Aircraft List

The NASA Airborne Science Program aircraft list provides unique NASA aircraft and commercial aircraft that benefit the earth science community. These manned and unmanned aircraft carry the sensors that provide data to support and augment NASA spaceborne missions.
Reminder: All investigators with approved or pending proposals from the Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) announcements that have a requirement for a NASA Airborne Science platform/instrument, must submit a Flight Request. The Flight Request is also the method to acquire an estimate if your proposal requires a cost estimate for Airborne Science support. However, for investigators proposing to participate on large, multi-aircraft experiments, such as the ROSES Call 2015: KORUS-AQ (Korea US- Air Quality), a single Flight Request will be submitted for each mission by the Project Manager or Project Scientist. The Science Operations Flight Request System (SOFRS) can be reached directly at
For all "Commercial" aircraft, in addition to filing a Flight Request, investigators are responsible for contacting vendors to determine if the platform meets the requirements of the proposed scientific investigation. It is the responsibility of the investigator to ensure that before any preliminary test flights or actual data collection flights utilizing NASA personnel, instruments or funds occur, all vendors successfully complete a NASA airworthiness/flight safety review in accordance with NASA Aviation Safety Policy for Non-NASA Aircraft.


The NASA DC-8 flight operations are provided by NASA /Armstrong Flight Research Center based out of Bldg 703 in Palmdale, CA. The University of North Dakota National Suborbital Education and Research Center provides science mission operations including payload integration engineering, data display and satcom systems and support, and education and outreach for the program.

Current Status:
CPEX Upload (ends 05/24/17)
NASA Armstrong (Dryden) Flight Research Center
University of North Dakota
Conventional Aircraft
12 hours (payload and weather dependent)
Useful Payload: 
30,000 lbs
Gross Take-off Weight: 
340,000 lbs
Onboard Operators: 
42 not including 8 flight crew
Max Altitude: 
41,000 ft.
Air Speed: 
450 knots
5,400 Nmi
Point(s) of Contact: 

Timothy Moes

Work: (661) 276-3054
Mobile: (661) 510-8696
Fax: (661) 276-6098