So, you want to be a test pilot? Wear a leather jacket, look around all squinty eyed and talk about Mach number and angle of attack? Now is your chance. This highly modified NASA C-8A test bed is for sale on


The Quiet Short-Haul Research Aircraft (QSRA) was the last of the STOL transport designs to be carried to flight evaluations by the Ames project office (fig. 110). A major objective of this development was to achieve STOL performance at the lowest noise levels possible. Wally Deckert, Curt Holzhauser, David Hickey, and Anthony Cook were instrumental in defining the program and in having it approved. 36 This aircraft used upper surface blowing (USB) and attained short-field takeoff and landing performance that ultimately exceeded that of all the competing designs. Modified by Boeing from a deHavilland C-8A Buffalo aircraft, the QSRA featured four jet engines whose exhaust was directed over the upper surface of the wing and curved flaps. Through the Coanda effect, a portion of the propulsive force was deflected into propulsive lift while lift was further augmented by increased circulation associated with the high-velocity exhaust air flowing over the wing. Once again, this design was thoroughly developed during tests in the 40- by 80-foot wind tunnel and the Flight Simulator for Advanced Aircraft.

The first flight took place in mid-1978. John Cochrane led the project and, along with his team (shown in fig. 111 next to the original C-8A), completed the proof-of-concept phase ahead of schedule and under budget. Jim Martin was the project pilot. Dennis Riddle assumed responsibility for the first phase of the flight research program during which he, Victor Stevens, and Michael Shovlin served as principal investigators. During the initial performance and stability and control test phase, the aircraft achieved stable flight at lift levels three times those generated on conventional aircraft, although the levels of lift obtained were somewhat less than those achieved in the wind tunnel tests (ref. 122).

Noise levels of 90 EPNdB (equivalent perceived noise) at a sideline of 500 feet were obtained, the lowest achieved for any jet STOL transport design. The aircraft’s noise footprint was substantially smaller than that of a comparable conventional jet transport. The QSRA further demonstrated its STOL performance by operating aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Kitty Hawk without a need for catapult launch or landing arresting gear (ref. 123).

The research conducted with this aircraft helped develop systems and capabilities that were used in the C-17.

Now, this rare aircraft is powered by four Lycoming YF-102 engines these engines were developed for the Northrup YA-9, which competed competition that lead to the A-10. So, a highly modified experimental aircraft with prototype engines. What’s not to love?


The aircraft is currently with NASA Ames at Moffet Field in California. Opening bid is $1000, but the reserve is no met. If your evil hideout has a short runway then this aircraft may be the one for you. If you want to see far this plane has come here is what a C-8 looked like in its natural form.