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445th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron


445th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron

445th Flight Test Squadron

F-16C block 30 #85-1547 & F-16D block 40 #90-0797 both from the 445th FLTS are seeing flying together at Edwards Air Force Base Flight Test Nation on October 17th, 2009

6512th Test Squadron McDonnell Douglas F-15A-1-MC Eagle 71-0280 (also known as YF-15A, first F-15 manufactured) preparing to make its historic first flight on July 27, 1972 at Edwards Air Force Base, California.

Active 24 February 1943 - Present
Country  United States
Branch  United States Air Force
Type Squadron
Role Flight Testing
Part of Air Force Materiel Command
Garrison/HQ Edwards Air Force Base, California
Tail Code "ED"
Decorations AFOUA
445th Flight Test Squadron emblem

The 445th Flight Test Squadron (445 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.


The 445th FLTS part of the Air Force Flight Test Center. The squadron formulate the test program, develop the criteria for flight test missions, execute flight test missions, analyze data from the test flights and report on the results. The military personnel, government civilians, and contractors all work together as a team. This concept enables a cheaper, faster, and more effective test program and produces a more effective aerospace system for the warfighter.

The 445th is the oldest active Flight Test Squadron at Edwards AFB. Currently, the squadron flies the F-16C/D Fighting Falcons and T-38C Talons.


World War II

Activated at Orlando AAB, Florida in early 1943 as part of the Air University Army Air Force School of Applied Tactics (AAFSAT). AAFSAT's function was to train cadres from newly formed units in combat operations under simulated field conditions as the cores around which new combat groups would be formed.[1][2]

The 445th initially trained pilots and furnished cadres to night fighter units. Later, it engaged in mock combat missions over the AAFSAT range training pilots in combat maneuvers, flying a wide variety of fighters and bombers. Remained at the AAFSAT until March 1944 when the training mission of the groups was replaced by the 903d Army Air Forces Base Unit on 1 April 1944 with "Section C" taking over the fighter training, and "Section D", the bombardment training. [1]

Reassigned to Muroc AAB, California, assigned to the 412th Fighter Group, Fourth Air Force. It was the first United States jet fighter squadron to be activated, and spent most of its early existence in experimental testing of the P-59A and P-80 aircraft. The squadron developed training programs and trained aircrew and ground personnel as cadres for newly formed jet aircraft-equipped units. Also flight tested the captured Mitsubishi A6M Zero (Zeke-52); the XR-3 (Autogyro) and Sikorsky R-4 (Helicopter)[3]

It was inactivated on 3 July 1946, its mission being assumed by the 2759th Experimental Wing.[2]

Air Defense Command

Reactivated under Air Defense Command in March 1953 at Geiger Field, Washington. In July, the first F-86D Sabre interceptors were assigned. The pilots and airmen were relatively inexperienced and the maintenance crew small. Within eighteen months, this group became the finest combat unit in the Western Air Defense Force. The highpoint in July 1954 was "Operation Checkpoint," a joint SAC-ADC exercise that extended for 3 days. With sunny days and early takeoffs, the pilot’s proficiency increased rapidly and aircraft maintenance became the best in ADC.[4][5]

In August 1954, "Project Arrow" replaced the 445th FIS with the 497th FIS that was moved up from Portland, Oregon. The 445th FIS was transferred, on paper only, to Wurtsmith AFB, Michigan in 1955 performing air defense duties over the Great Lakes area and upper Midwest equipped with F-89D Scorpions. The 445th FIS was upgraded to the new F-89G Scorpion in March 1956 (the first F-89G squadron in ADC); and upgraded to the F-89J in September 1957.[4][5]

Was re-equipped with new McDonnell F-101B Voodoo supersonic interceptor, and the F-101F operational and conversion trainer in 1960. The two-seat trainer version was equipped with dual controls, but carried the same armament as the F-101B and were fully combat-capable. Operated the Voodoos until September 1968, the aircraft being passed along to the Air National Guard and the squadron inactivated as part of the general drawdown of the ADC active-duty interceptor force.[4][5]

Flight testing

Reactivated at Edwards AFB, California in 1969 as the Air Force Systems Command 6512th Test Squadron. Managed all aircraft types not assigned to the various centers/Flight Test Squadrons. From 1989, primarily operated test support, TPS support, and test program aircraft not associated with CTFs.[6]

Aircraft types flown by the 6512th/445th included: A/YA-7D, VA-7F, A-7K, NA/OA-37B, NF-4C/D/E, YF-4E, NRF-4C, F-15A/B/C/D/E, F-111A, F-111D, FB-111A (later, F-111G), UH-1N, O-2A, T-37B, T-38A, AT-38B, T-38C, and UV-18. Converted from provisional status with re-designation as 4445th Flight Test Squadron in October 1992 as part of transfer from Systems Command to Air Force Material Command.[6] . Retired the F-111s in 1990. Retired the A-7s and F-4s in 1992. Retired the last A-37s after a mishap in 1994. Transferred the UH-1Ns to other bases c. 1994-95. Absorbed F-15s from the inactivated 415th Flight Test Squadron on 1 October 1994. From that date, primarily flew F-15A/B/C/D/E, TA-38A/C, and AT-38B. Inactivated in late 2001 but activated again in early 2004 in a series of reorganizations at Edwards. [6]

Over the squadron's history, more than 100 aircraft have been flown as part of various test and evaluation programs.


  • Constituted 445th Fighter Squadron (Special) on 19 Feb 1943
Activated on 24 Feb 1943
Re-designated: 445th Fighter Squadron (Twin Engine) (Special) on 15 Mar 1943
Re-designated: 445th Fighter Squadron, Single Engine on 11 Mar 1944
Re-designated: 445th Fighter Squadron, Jet Propelled on 18 Jan 1946
Inactivated on 3 Jul 1946
  • Re-designated 445th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron on 11 Feb 1953
Activated on 20 Mar 1953
Inactivated on 30 Sep 1968
  • Consolidated (1 Oct 1992) with the 6512th Test Squadron which was designated, and activated, on 1 Oct 1969
Re-designated: 445th Test Squadron on 2 Oct 1992
Re-designated: 445th Flight Test Squadron on 1 Mar 1994
Inactivated on 30 Nov 2001
  • Activated on 11 Mar 2004.







Army Air Force School of Applied Tactics


World War II Flight Testing


Cold War


USAF Flight Test Center


See also


External links

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