Aircraft List

The NASA Airborne Science Program provides a unique set of NASA supported 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, 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

Non-NASA Aircraft
NASA instrumentation may fly on non-NASA Federal aircraft as well as academic and commercial platforms for which agreements for access by SMD investigators are in place, in process, or have recently been approved by NASA Aviation Management as airworthy and safe to operate. For more information, please review the current ASP Call Letter for further requirements and guidance. Please note that in addition to filing the required Flight Request, investigators are responsible for contacting vendors to determine if the platform meets the requirements of the proposed scientific investigation. It is also 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.

RC-12 Huron – Navy – VXS-1

RC-12 Huron Aircraft

Scientific Development Squadron ONE (VXS-1) operates the RC-12M aircraft to support airborne science and technology research. The RC-12M is a military version of a Beechcraft B200 King Air and offers a low cost per flight hour option for smaller projects.

RC-12M features include:
External belly mounting capability
GPS signal feed
Iridium antenna
Dedicated power distribution system
Optional fiberglass belly radome (110" x 53") can be configured with or without an optical window 
The interior of the aircraft is fully configurable to desired project configurations.  The open architecture design of the aircraft interior with mounting rails and project power distribution enable the aircraft to be uniquely configured according to project requirements.

Point(s) of Contact:
VXS-1 Project Director
LCDR Brandon J. Adams
Work: (301)-342-3504
VXS-1 Project Liaison Officer
Mr. Stephen Rorke
Work: (301)-342-4945

U.S. Navy
Scientific Development SquadronConventional fixed-wing, twin-turboprop ONE (VXS-1)
Conventional fixed-wing, twin-turboprop
6.0 hours (payload and weather dependent)
Useful Payload: 
1,800 lbs
Gross Take-off Weight: 
14,000 lbs
Onboard Operators: 
Max Altitude: 
31,000 ft
Air Speed: 
245 knots
1,250 Nmi
3 Phase 400Hz 115VAC, 1 Phase 60Hz 115VAC, 28VDC