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The F-18 HARV (High Alpha Research Vehicle), is an F-18 variant modified to invest controlled flight at high angles

800px-F-18 HARV

of Attack. To do that it is equipped with a Thrust Vector system (TVC), advanced flight controls, and actuated forebody strakes. The program was started in April 1987 and lasted until September 1996.


NASA reported that the F-18 HARV performed extreme maneuvers at angles of attack up to 70 degrees, while the aircraft was designed to fly at angles of Attack up to 55 degrees, as well as it showed to the ability to do roll maneuvers at angles of Attack up to 65 degrees, without thrust vectoring nozzles the High Alpha Research vehicle would not be able to roll at Angles of Attack higher than 35 degrees.


The F-18 used for the HARV programme was BuNo. 160780. Acquired by NASA on 22 October 1984, the aircraft received tail code NASA 840.[1]



  1. World Aircraft Information Files Partwork. File 195 Sheet 14 (McDonnell Douglas (Boeing) F/A-18 Hornet:Dryden's Hornets)