411th Flight Test Squadron
|411th Flight Test Squadron|
411th Flight Test Squadron - Lockheed F-22A Block 10 Raptor 91-4008
|Active||10 March 1989 - Present|
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Part of||Air Force Materiel Command|
|Garrison/HQ||Edwards Air Force Base, California|
|411th Flight Test Squadron emblem|
The 411th Flight Test Squadron (411 FTS) is a United States Air Force squadron. It is assigned to the 412th Operations Group, Air Force Materiel Command, stationed at Edwards Air Force Base, California.
Conducted the advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) program flyoff competition between the Lockheed YF-22 and Northrop YF-23 prototypes. Flew the YF-23 27 August-18 December 1990, and the YF-22 29 September-28 December 1990, though the airplanes were assigned to the contractors rather than to USAF. The YF-22 (and Pratt & Whitney F119 engine) was declared the winner of the competition on 23 April 1991, and on 2 August 1991 both YF-22 prototypes were formally transferred to the Air Force.
Though the number 1 YF-22 returned to the Lockheed plant to become a ground test bed for production designs, the No, 2 aircraft flew with the 411th from 30 Oct 1991 — 25 Apr 1992, when it was extensively damaged in a landing mishap. The 411th then spent the next few years planning for the F-22 test program, and received the first EMD F-22A in February 1998.
Edwards flight testing was completed in December 2004 and the 27th Fighter Squadron at Langley AFB, Virginia was the squadron to transition to the Raptor, receiving the first operational aircraft 18 January 2005 from Tyndall AFB, Florida, where the 43d Fighter Squadron trained Raptor pilots.
The squadron successfully tested the F-22 flying on a 50/50 fuel blend of conventional petroleum-based JP-8 and biofuel derived from Camelina, a weed-like plant not used for food, in March 2011. The overall test objective was to evaluate biofuel fuel blend suitability in the F-22 weapon system. Testing consisted of air starts, operability, and performance at different speeds and altitude throughout the flight envelope. The F-22 Raptor performed several maneuvers including a supercruise at 40,000 ft. reaching speeds of 1.5 Mach. Supercruise is supersonic flight without using the engine's afterburner. The overall flight was a success.
- Designated as the 6511th Test Squadron, and activated, on 10 March 1989
- Re-designated: 411th Test Squadron on 2 October 1992
- Re-designated: 411th Flight Test Squadron on 1 March 1994
- 6510th (later, 412th Test) Wing, 10 March 1989
- 412th Operations Group, 1 October 1993 – Present
- Edwards Air Force Base, California, 10 March 1989 – Present
- Rogers, Brian. United States Air Force Unit Designations since 1978. Hinkley, England: Midland Publications, 2005. ISBN 1-85780-197-0.
- F/A-22 on track to go operational
- Associated Press, "F-22 crashes in California desert near air base", Yahoo! News, March 26, 2009.
- F-22 Raptor flown on synthetic biofuel
- AFHRA 411th Flight Test Squadron Factsheet