Secret Aircraft

Ken_McE

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Not sure if this is related to Starhalos post #459:

[h=1]Mystery Aircraft Spotted Over Oregon:
[/h]It could be a page out of a Tom Clancy novel. Mysterious, reportedly high performance aircraft spotted cutting through commercial flight lanes near Oregon/California border. Ground control has trouble keeping it on radar, resorts to calling passing airliners and asking them to look out the window. F-15 Cs' scramble out of Portland to force it down, can't find anything.

http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...e-encounter-with-mystery-aircraft-over-oregon
 

moldyoldy

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^ thanks for the article link!

and embedded within the linked article, was another link that led to a site featuring a heavily modified B-737, jokingly referred to as a 'flying Tylenol capsule'.

and that modified B-737 has capabilities vaguely analogous to the RC-135E, Rivet Amber, aka Lisa Ann, lost on 5 June 1969 over the Bering Sea with all crew.
That RC-135E was soley dedicated to the largest phased array radar every flown: 7MW,
the radome was structurally integrated into the fuselage forward of the starboard wing.




 

moldyoldy

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In honor of the crew that perished in the Bering Sea. a sad day for us:

the Lisa Ann (Rivet Amber) with the 7 Megawatt phased array radar could track a soccer ball at 300 NM in 1967 or so. one of a kind! Tracked Soviet re-entry vehicles in the bad days of the Cold War.


IMPORTD2.JPG


MAILEDD8.JPG
 

moldyoldy

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coming to the coastal skies near you: the Boeing MQ-25, stealth version.
The Boeing video is intentionally cryptic, but tantalizing with detail.

the rumor from AW is that with the buried inlets, the turbines were difficult enough to start that the tarmac crews would park a C-130 in front of the MQ-25 so that the prop-wash would push enough air into the engine inlets. not quite the starting cart that these crews are used to.... !
 

NoNotAgain

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I've been around and worked on most turbojet, turbofan and ramjet engines and have yet to find an engine that requires the fan to start pushing air into the compressor before the engines can fire off.

Engines that start from 28 volts use this current to run the starter/generator to generate enough temperature in the compressor to ignite fuel.

Air start engines use compressed air from a cart or bleed air from a running engine to spin the engine to develop the required heat to introduce fuel for light off.
 

moldyoldy

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^^

umm, well, here is the link to the pertinent AW article on the MQ-25.

and here is a quote from that article:

"Tacit Blue's top-mounted flush inlet may have been stealthy, but it was hard to start, the flight-test crew at one point parking a C-130 in front of the aircraft so that its propwash would help start the airflow into the buried engines. There was also some flow separation in the inlet duct."

obviously a design in progress....


 

StarHalo

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Not necessarily secret, but once again merely documenting the strange things you can see standing in your yard with a long lens; I heard a louder-than-usual plane coming from the East, he was up quite a ways but I could tell once he was closer that it was a Skymaster in a snazzy red paint job. Got a shot, reviewed it real quick and saw something on the plane, a gray thing, next to the port/left spar. So got another couple shots as he was receding to see if I could see anything more, which revealed that the object took up quite a bit of space, was roughly the size of say an oil barrel on the exterior of the fuselage. Any ideas?
y9cvhsL.jpg

oxMYZiN.jpg

HeqGmby.jpg
 

gadget_lover

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That thing on the skymaster looked really odd. First thought was some sort of camera equipment. Second was a seat for one more passenger.

Seriously I can't imagine a piece of equipment that I'd strap to the outside like that. If nothing else, it will play hell with the air flow.
 

StarHalo

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Solved: The mystery Skymaster flew closer to my house yesterday, close enough that I could make out the registration on its tail; it's registered as an Aerial Surveying craft, as revealed in others' Flickr photos of the plane (credit), the gear on the side of the fuselage is for surveying:
CxKZ6rQ.jpg
 

gadget_lover

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Dad was a civil engineer. One childhood memory that stands out is standing at a huge table with a stereograph of the area around the Oakland Airport. We were able to pinpoint the top of a telephone pole using a special microscope. Once in focus you could tell it's exact height. It was amazing.
 

thermal guy

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WOW! What is that? And what's its intended purpose? I'm guessing long flight and high weight capacity?
 

idleprocess

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20eb44646993d200d3ece1500c1968f2.jpg

Nightshift...

The Beluga was borne mostly out of necessity, but also out of a dependence upon the then-ancient Boeing 377-based Super Guppy:

When Airbus started in 1970, road vehicles were initially used for the movement of components and sections; however, growth in production volume soon necessitated a switch to air transport. From 1972 onwards, a fleet of four highly modified "Super Guppies" took over. These were former Boeing Stratocruisers from the 1940s that had been converted with custom fuselages and the adoption of turbine engines to carry large volume loads for NASA's space program in the 1960s. Airbus' use of the Super Guppies led to the jest that "every Airbus is delivered on the wings of a Boeing"
 

NoNotAgain

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The reason behind the Beluga based on the Airbus A300-600 was three fold.

I was working in Toulouse France in the early 1990's at the Airbus facility at Blanac Airport. Airbus had made a decision to built most of their aircraft in Toulouse with the exception of the ATR42 and ATR72 turbo props. Wings for the A320, A330, A340 were all built in England and the A320 fuselage was built in Germany. A320 production was increasing from 10 aircraft a month to 25 per month.

The Super Guppies were a very old design being mechanical cable driven for all control surfaces. The nose of the aircraft took 6-8 hours to open since it was bolted on and the control cables had to be re-rigged each opening and closing.

Back then Airbus was known as Aerospatiale, Airbus Group and there were a number of companies operating within. Sergoma was the fabricator of the Beluga. I witnessed Sergoma removing the vertical and horizontal stabilizers and then cut the top off the A300-600 aircraft. Over a period of 7 months, they installed new ribs for the cargo bulb, shinned the bulb, then finally installed the hinge assembly and large door.

The three reasons for the Beluga and now the Beluga XL are first, reduced load and unload times. Secondly, the Super Guppies all have well over 80,000 flight hours and were suffering from numerous fuselage cracks. Third, the Beluga and Beluga XL were required to meet the supply chain of centralized manufacturing. Most of their suppliers are attached to the airport property where parts are received until needed for build.
 

StarHalo

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You guys might recall me posting images of this flying wing plane, the 1944 Northrop N9M; it was the only surviving copy of four made as a reduced-scale prototype for a planned WWII bomber, house and operated out of the Planes of Fame air museum in neighboring Chino airport after a lengthy 15 year restoration. This plane crashed into a prison yard in Norco yesterday afternoon killing the pilot and disintegrating the plane entirely, though no one on the ground was injured. So this photo is among the last ever taken of the plane in public:
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