The Dornier Alpha-Jet, tail No. N165XA, is registered to H211 LLC, according to the FAA. H211 is controlled by Google's senior executives, and already operates two jumbo jets out of Moffett Field.
The 1982 German-and-French-built Alpha-Jet seats two and was originally used by European air forces, but is now being sold relatively cheaply to civilians. Though the jet is legal to own, its noise levels would violate H211's original lease agreement with Ames, which only allows for "Stage III or quieter turbine-powered aircraft." As part of the agreement, H211 has been allowed to base aircraft in Hangar 211 because NASA has equipped its planes with scientific instruments.
The Voice talked to people who frequent NASA Ames who say they have seen the fighter jet parked on the airfield. H211 has apparently requested that its tail number not be tracked on flightaware.com.
"I guess I would be entertained to hear what the scientific justification is" for having the fighter jet there, said Lenny Siegel, director of the Center for Public Environmental Oversight, a watchdog group concerned with Moffett Field.
NASA Ames representatives did not return calls by press time.