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It seems a kind of hybrid for testing. The overhead panel looks similar to BAe 146, Any ideas? enter image description here

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That is the cockpit of the Shuttle Training Aircraft, a modified Grumman Gulfstream II. Here is higher resolution picture:

Shuttle Training Aircraft
(Wikipedia)

The STA is a "highly modified Gulfstream-2 aircraft," Nickel said. The plane’s cockpit has been adapted to closely resemble a Shuttle's flight deck; the left-hand seat features the same hand controls that a Shuttle commander uses during a mission. Several passenger seats in the back of the aircraft have been replaced by a bank of Shuttle-simulating computers.

(NASA)

They could simulate the glide of the Space Shuttle by flying with the main gear lowered and reverse thrust in flight:

In order to match the descent rate and drag profile of the real Shuttle, at 37,000 feet (11,300 m), the main landing gear was lowered (the nose gear stayed retracted due to wind load constraints) and engine thrust was reversed. Flaps could be deflected upwards to decrease lift as well as downwards to increase lift.

(Texas Air and Space Museum)

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    $\begingroup$ They could simulate the glide of the Space Shuttle by flying with the main gear lowered and reverse thrust in flight I think this is by far the best description of the shuttle's flight dynamics I've ever heard. I'm given to understand that there's nothing quite like falling out of the sky in an oil tanker with nothing but two penguin wings and luck to stop you from burying into the dirt... $\endgroup$ – J... Oct 22 at 19:00
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    $\begingroup$ It may have been better than being shot round the earth in a tin can on top of a ballistic missile. $\endgroup$ – DJClayworth Oct 22 at 20:12
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    $\begingroup$ Flaps could be deflected upwards to decrease lift as well as downwards to increase lift. Am I mistaken in thinking that flaps don't usually deflect upwards? $\endgroup$ – zymhan Oct 22 at 21:28
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    $\begingroup$ You are not mistaken. Note the phrase "highly modified." $\endgroup$ – John Dallman Oct 22 at 21:30
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    $\begingroup$ @zymhan: Depends on context. As John mentioned, this was a special aircraft. Personally, as a glider pilot, "negative flaps" are an extremely common thing. $\endgroup$ – Martin Argerami Oct 22 at 23:27

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