The tour starts at the main entrance to the Mojave Air & Space Port (the MASP) on the corner of Airport Blvd. and the Mojave-Barstow Highway.
Mojave is best known as a civilian flight test center, home of the Voyager aircraft and SpaceShipOne.
Parked on the west side of the road are a Convair 990, a F-4 and a SAAB Draken.
F-4 Phantom II fighter jets were given a second life here in Mojave by BAE Systems. Retired F-4s were converted to fly without a pilot on board to serve as a target drone for military RADAR and missile testing. The unmanned version is painted with the orange tail and wing tips and re-designated as a QF-4.
The Convair 990 was an American narrow-body four-engine jet airliner produced by the Convair division of General Dynamics, a stretched version of their earlier Convair 880 produced in response to a request from American Airlines. The 990 was lengthened by 10 ft (3.0 m), which increased the number of passengers from between 88 and 110 in the 880, to between 96 and 121 in the 990. This was still fewer than the contemporary Boeing 707 (110 to 189) or Douglas DC-8 (105 to 173), although the 990 was 25–35 mph (40–56 km/h) faster than either in cruise. What made the 990 the fastest non-supersonic commercial transport to ever be produced were amongst others the NASA-designed anti-shock bodies or “speed pods”. These aerodynamic shapes can be found on top of each wing. This jet was used by NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center, Edwards, California as the Landing Systems Research Aircraft (LSRA) in 1993 and 1994 to flight test space shuttle landing gear and braking systems. It was modified with a main landing gear and tire from the Shuttle Enterprise, installed between the aircraft’s main landing gear. Tests were conducted at Edwards AFB and at Kennedy Space Center, Florida. The results allowed the crosswind limits of the orbiters to be increased from 15 to 20 knots. The borrowed shuttle landing gear was reinstalled on the Enterprise.
The green jet is a SAAB Draken (a TF-35XD model). The Draken is a cold war era supersonic interceptor/fighter designed to defend neutral Sweden against the threat of high altitude jet bombers from the Soviet Union. First flight of the Draken was on 25 October 1955. Draken was retired from active service in 2005 with Austrian Air Force being the last operator. This airframe, a two seat trainer version, was acquired from the Royal Danish Air Force by the National Test Pilot School. This airframe was used to train future Test Pilots and Flight Test Engineers from around the world by NTPS here at Mojave from 1994 – 2009. The aircraft was used as one of its primary supersonic training aircraft before retiring it and donating to the airfield.
The following links will take you away from the Mojave Air & Space Port Website