I think some of you guys remember back in mid-90s NASA conducted Propulsion Controlled Aircraft (PCA) system flight tests by using a modified MD-11. It was kind of like an aftermath of UA232 (as it approaches to 30 years of it) here are some pictures at the NASA website:
now one of the picture shows the reg number which was "N9017S" or "N90178" (cannot see it clearly). At that time the MD-11 using the reg points to N526FE, which was written off at Narita as Fedex 80 ten years ago.
Then from the NASA archive I found a PCA document which said this following:
The MD-11 airplane is a large, long-range, three-engine, wide-body transport. This 202 ft long airplane has a wingspan of 170 ft and a maximum takeoff gross weight of 618,000 lb (fig. 1). The test airplane, ship 560, was configured for flight test and had no interior furnishings.
This is quite interesting, Does "ship 560" mean line number 560 as well? If so it still points to N526FE.
Anothoer thing is that I rewatched the Mayday DHL shootdown and decided to find out because someone asked this couple years ago in another forum and nobody replied properly.
What do you guys think?
supporting documents & websites: