Convair NC-131H Total In-Flight Simulator (TIFS)
Published October 09, 2015
This one-of-a kind aircraft was an important in-flight simulator primarily used to study how an aircraft would handle before building an expensive, full-scale prototype. It was created for the U.S. Air Force in the late 1960s by the Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory of Buffalo, N.Y. (later the Calspan Corp.).
Engineers found the TIFS especially useful for studying how large aircraft would handle during takeoff and landing. Vertical fins on the wings generated side forces to simulate crosswinds and provided test data.
The TIFS first flew in 1970, and its first research project simulated the B-1 bomber’s flying characteristics. During its long and successful career, the TIFS simulated many military and NASA aircraft, including the X-40, Tacit Blue, Space Shuttle, B-2, YF-23 and C-17. Civilian aircraft development projects included the Boeing Supersonic Transport (SST), MD-12X and Indonesian N-250. It also served to train test pilots. The TIFS came to the museum in 2008.
Engines: Two 4,368 hp Allison 501-D22G turboprop engines
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