ASTARS III delivered to Pax River

The new ASTARS III, a modified Fairchild C-26A was unveiled at Patuxent River, Maryland on June 29.
Naval Air Systems Command

A new aircraft for the United States Navy’s Naval Air Warfare Center-Aircraft Division based at Patuxent River, Maryland, was unveiled on June 29. Former US Air Force Fairchild C-26A Metroliner 86-0456 (c/n AC747B), has a new lease of life as BuNo 860456, as an Airborne Systems Training and Research Support aircraft with the United States Naval Test Pilot School.

Dubbed ASTARS III, the C-26A is the newest generation of flying classroom and replaces a now retired P-3 Orion. It will join ASTARS II, a leased and heavily modified Saab 340 (N304ST) for which the Calspan Flight Research lease contract will end in the autumn of this year.