NITECORE -- Keep Innovating        
Page 2 of 19 FirstFirst 12345678912 ... LastLast
Results 31 to 60 of 551

Thread: Secret Aircraft

  1. #31
    Flashaholic* Sub_Umbra's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    la bonne vie en Amérique
    Posts
    4,749

    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    I think it's a Papier-mâché model built to fool Google.
    Last edited by Sub_Umbra; 06-19-2012 at 04:41 PM.

  2. #32
    Flashaholic* orbital's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Great Lakes
    Posts
    2,356

    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    Quote Originally Posted by Sub_Umbra View Post
    That's true but when the KH12 was launched a carrier cost a billion... Of course, a billion isn't what it used to be...

    A new KH bird today would probably still cost about the same as a carrier. Some things never change.

    In the 1870s if you had a US $20 gold piece to spend you could buy a really nice suit or you could buy a Colt Peacemaker 45. It turns out that today if you have the same coin you may still buy a very nice suit and on most days it's still worth enough to buy a Colt Peacemaker 45.


    ...question is,, to get more coins, do you need the Colt Peacemaker or that really nice suit??

    >>

  3. #33
    Flashaholic* EZO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Vermont, USA
    Posts
    1,433

    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve K View Post
    neat video.
    Always fun to see what parts get hot, etc. It has me wondering why the rudders look hot, and not just the leading edges.

    The soundtrack has me confused too, as it sounds like a jet engine. Might be chase planes? It's certainly not the X-37B itself!

    Steve K.
    You know Steve, I agree that it does indeed sound like a jet engine and when I read your post I thought, yeah, chase planes. But I just watched the video again and the sound corresponds directly with the deceleration of the X-37B and stops precisely when it does, so apparently whatever is causing the sound is emanating from the craft itself! Chase planes would have continued their fly-by. I wonder if the two holes above the rear rocket nozzle have anything to do with it. Perhaps the side vents are air intakes of some kind.

  4. #34
    Flashaholic* Steve K's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Peoria, IL
    Posts
    2,785

    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    Looking around military airbases and what they've left parked outside is half the reason to have Google Earth; a screencap at the Skunkworks facility reveals a covered craft that hasn't been announced to the public yet:

    It's fun to look at the parts pile by the former McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) radar cross section test range at Smart Airfield in St Charles, MO (just north of St Charles, and the SE corner of the airport area). There are also a couple of pylons that they put small scale models on and check the radar return. Bits of F-15 laying around, and something that looks like chunks of a stealth UAV.

    Steve K.

  5. #35
    Flashaholic
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Silicon Valley
    Posts
    301

    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    Quote Originally Posted by orbital View Post
    ...question is,, to get more coins, do you need the Colt Peacemaker or that really nice suit??

    >>
    Easy, you can steal more money with a really nice suite than Colt Peacemaker these days.

    =D~~Kilted

  6. #36
    *Flashaholic* Patriot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    10,632

    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    Quote Originally Posted by EZO View Post
    You know Steve, I agree that it does indeed sound like a jet engine and when I read your post I thought, yeah, chase planes. But I just watched the video again and the sound corresponds directly with the deceleration of the X-37B and stops precisely when it does, so apparently whatever is causing the sound is emanating from the craft itself!
    Since it's directly linked to the speed and got quieter as it slowed, until silent, I suspect it's related to wheel speed. Sounds like friction associated brakes, wheels, tires or a combination of all.

  7. #37
    Flashaholic* EZO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Vermont, USA
    Posts
    1,433

    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    Quote Originally Posted by Patriot View Post
    Since it's directly linked to the speed and got quieter as it slowed, until silent, I suspect it's related to wheel speed. Sounds like friction associated brakes, wheels, tires or a combination of all.
    I certainly considered that but the sound is very reminiscent of a turbine engine spinning down and I don't recall hearing other similar landing gear make so much noise. Then again, the sound does stop as soon as the craft does, so you are probably right.
    I still wonder what those holes above the rocket nozzle are for.

  8. #38
    Flashaholic
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Where? Here!
    Posts
    126

    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    Quote Originally Posted by Sub_Umbra View Post
    We have to look at this differently than manned flight. Lots and lots and lots of the time was spent in transit from one far flung place to another. I think it's important to realize that even with no fragile humans on board the X-37B still must use extreme measures to conserve fuel for it's extended missions. That means using tiny amounts of propellant to nudge the ship onto courses where they slowly fall onto slingshots and other effects.

    IMO it may be that if we did know exactly where it went and how many stops it made we may be impressed with how little it seemed to do when compared to the manic activity skeds of manned space missions of the past. This is all about economy and doing things in the most thrifty manner. To that end, at one point in the mission the ship may just be put into a parking station for 3.5 months to wait for a better time to use it's fuel. Can't really do that with humans on board.
    Yes, I think you are spot on Sub_Umbra. The OTV is said to “loiter” in orbit. Probably while it recharges from it's solar array, performs very small course change manoeuvres and does many, many other things unknown to us. Maybe, as you say, just simply waiting for the next job to come to it, thus saving precious fuel. That must take up lots of time, has to. But, No humans = No hurry, just sit and wait. Loitering some where near the Tiangong-1 maybe. Oops, No. Just kidding. It will be very interesting to see the next one go up around the middle of October though.
    Last edited by JemR; 06-20-2012 at 06:40 AM. Reason: spelling. Back to school
    186,232 miles per second. The speed of the light from all our flashlights.

  9. #39
    Flashaholic* Steve K's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Peoria, IL
    Posts
    2,785

    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    Quote Originally Posted by EZO View Post
    .....I still wonder what those holes above the rocket nozzle are for.
    They make me think of the Space Shuttle's "Orbital Maneuvering System", which were a set of smaller engines used for.... well, I don't have to tell you.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_S...uvering_System

    Steve K.


    edit:
    Looking at the How Stuff Works page on the OMS, it mentions the fuel that is used:
    "The OMS engines burn monomethyl hydrazine fuel (CH3NHNH2) and nitrogen tetroxide oxidizer (N2O4). "
    It also mentions that the OMS is used to slow the craft for re-entry. After each use, the fuel lines are purged to get that stuff out of the lines:
    "When the engines shut off, the nitrogen goes from the valves into the fuel lines momentarily to flush the lines of any remaining fuel and oxidizer; this purge of the line prevents any unwanted explosions."
    Seems like that might result in some being on the exterior of the craft, which might explain why the ground crew for the X-37B were wearing hazmat suits. .... just a theory...
    Last edited by Steve K; 06-20-2012 at 06:29 AM.

  10. #40
    Flashaholic* Lips's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Louisiana - USA
    Posts
    1,201

    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    Quote Originally Posted by Patriot View Post
    Since it's directly linked to the speed and got quieter as it slowed, until silent, I suspect it's related to wheel speed. Sounds like friction associated brakes, wheels, tires or a combination of all.




    I was on a trip a few years ago (summer 2004 (8 years ago)) to Tuscon, Arizona ( I think - in Kelly & Patriots back yard! ) and got to touch a SR71 Titanium skin at an air museum, awesome! I did lean over the rope! No security what so ever on the old technology (Too old to even secure) - so I believe the Aurora is alive! If I remember correctly there was a bone yard full of Military Aircraft in the desert dry air nearby...




    http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a3.../Tucson090.jpg





    TITANIUM

    http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a3.../Tucson091.jpg








    http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a3.../Tucson060.jpg







    http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a3.../Tucson092.jpg






    http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a3...urora-SPFX.jpg








    http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a3...jr/images4.jpg






    President Lyndon Johnson Air Force One!



    http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a3.../Tucson086.jpg







    Not what you see today!

    ]http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a369/vdcjr/Tucson076.jpg





    SECRET!

    http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a3.../Tucson081.jpg





    http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a3.../Tucson078.jpg




    http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a3.../Tucson077.jpg



    http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a3.../Tucson079.jpg



    Was not much room at all! I was shocked thinking what a piece of junk for 2004 ( 20 year old plane ) i.e. We have come a long way since the SR71 Black Bird...
    To the right the National Security Adviser Station!

    http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a3.../Tucson080.jpg





    http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a3.../Tucson083.jpg



    Cockpit (looked like a damn crop duster!!!)


    http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a3.../Tucson085.jpg






    Cheers




    Edit: The prop plane is older than the jet plane in photos. They would not let us on the jet plane. The prop plane would have been early LBJ or John F Kennedy...



    Your images are WAY too large and have been replaced with links
    See Rule #3 If you post an image in your post, please downsize the image to no larger than 800 x 800 pixels. - Norm




    .

  11. #41
    Flashaholic* EZO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Vermont, USA
    Posts
    1,433

    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    Very cool photos Lips!

  12. #42
    Flashaholic* EZO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Vermont, USA
    Posts
    1,433

    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve K View Post
    They make me think of the Space Shuttle's "Orbital Maneuvering System", which were a set of smaller engines used for.... well, I don't have to tell you.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_S...uvering_System

    Steve K.


    edit:
    Looking at the How Stuff Works page on the OMS, it mentions the fuel that is used:
    "The OMS engines burn monomethyl hydrazine fuel (CH3NHNH2) and nitrogen tetroxide oxidizer (N2O4). "
    It also mentions that the OMS is used to slow the craft for re-entry. After each use, the fuel lines are purged to get that stuff out of the lines:
    "When the engines shut off, the nitrogen goes from the valves into the fuel lines momentarily to flush the lines of any remaining fuel and oxidizer; this purge of the line prevents any unwanted explosions."
    Seems like that might result in some being on the exterior of the craft, which might explain why the ground crew for the X-37B were wearing hazmat suits. .... just a theory...
    I came across this NASA sourced graphic of the X-37B. It shows a hydrogen peroxide tank and a JP-8 kerosene based jet fuel tank. Hmmm. Well, it's was "secret" project that apparently dates all the way back to 1999 or before, so who knows. Curiously, the graphic doesn't show any engines other than the rear nozzle. Maybe it really runs on vinegar and baking soda?



    I also came across a couple of other good photos of the craft. One featuring a good view of the heat tiles and a nice thermal image.



    Last edited by EZO; 06-20-2012 at 03:01 PM.

  13. #43
    Flashaholic* Sub_Umbra's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    la bonne vie en Amérique
    Posts
    4,749

    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    Every time I see a windowless drone I can't help but think of GIGER'S EYELESS ALIEN. The Globalhawk is a good example of a Gigeresque look.

  14. #44
    Flashaholic* EZO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Vermont, USA
    Posts
    1,433

    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    Quote Originally Posted by Sub_Umbra View Post
    Every time I see a windowless drone I can't help but think of GIGER'S EYELESS ALIEN. The Globalhawk is a good example of a Gigeresque look.
    Funny you should mention a creature. The photo in my previous post #42 of the nose of the craft showing the heat tiles reminded me of the scales of a reptile like in my avatar photo.

  15. #45

    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    Given the technology that was available at the the time the SR-71 in my book is an astounding example of what good engineers can come up given solid direction and resources. Kelly Johnson an Co built one helluva aircraft that looks faster standing still in a hangar than most aircraft at Mach 1.2 I remember when I was a kid watching the nightly news and seeing reports of the mysterious sonic booms off the East Coast as SR-71's headed over to Asia for recon flights. More than a few transcripts out there from air traffic controllers monitoring SR-71's that were coming in from their retirement flights and flying faster than their scopes could register over the Western US.

    I've known a few people that worked out at Area 51 and related facilities. They laugh when they hear the UFO stuff and say "If you knew what really goes on out there and what we do, you'd be really, really bored".

    Rather that put a tarp over secret U.S. test aircraft the DoD should just straddle them with a mannequin of Vladimir Putin :-)

  16. #46
    Flashaholic
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Where? Here!
    Posts
    126

    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    Quote Originally Posted by blasterman View Post
    Given the technology that was available at the the time the SR-71 in my book is an astounding example of what good engineers can come up given solid direction and resources.
    Sorry to go a little off topic, but. You are quite right blasterman. I saw Concorde flying many times. It's from the same era. And every time it was a wonder. It came over my neighbourhood escorted by the Red Arrows Display Team one time, very low on their way to Central London for a Royal flypast. Takes you breath away.
    Last edited by JemR; 06-20-2012 at 11:26 AM.
    186,232 miles per second. The speed of the light from all our flashlights.

  17. #47
    Flashaholic* AnAppleSnail's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    South Hill, VA
    Posts
    4,200

    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    Quote Originally Posted by blasterman View Post
    More than a few transcripts out there from air traffic controllers monitoring SR-71's that were coming in from their retirement flights and flying faster than their scopes could register over the Western US.
    The pilots tell good stories:

    Clicky
    My biggest light-hog is my camera.

  18. #48
    *Flashaholic* StarHalo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    California Republic
    Posts
    10,359

    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    Quote Originally Posted by Lips View Post
    got to touch a SR71 Titanium skin at an air museum, awesome!
    I got to play underneath one and even stick my head in the landing gear bay - lots of NASA-esque gold foil in there. Pretty much all of the SR-71 program is now declassified (minus details on navigation equipment), you can Google its project name, "Senior Crown", and there are a few books that have been written by former captains, detailing missions and adventures..

  19. #49
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Maryland, Near DC, USA
    Posts
    6,624

    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    My guess re: the X37B is that it's used to retrieve classified materials from spy satellites, among other servicing operations. Sure, the old Hexagon satellites used to drop their film canisters in re-entry modules, but a remote-controlled reusable vehicle can land in precisely the same location each time -- or conveniently explode if something goes wrong.

  20. #50
    Flashaholic* AnAppleSnail's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    South Hill, VA
    Posts
    4,200

    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    Quote Originally Posted by fyrstormer View Post
    My guess re: the X37B is that it's used to retrieve classified materials from spy satellites, among other servicing operations. Sure, the old Hexagon satellites used to drop their film canisters in re-entry modules, but a remote-controlled reusable vehicle can land in precisely the same location each time -- or conveniently explode if something goes wrong.
    My knee-jerk reaction is "Satellites don't use film anymore!" but then my photography spoke up. Film can do things digital sensors can't practically do, such as year-long exposures. Satellite service makes sense - if lifting 100 kg of hydrazine, replacement battery modules, and film / etc saves a 1000kg satellite that cost a pretty penny, then money is saved.

    Interestingly, there are some extremely-low-fuel-use methods to change orbit. They are not used in the space shuttle because of the time involved. One can generate an electric field that pushes or drags on the Earth's, allowing slow orbital changes. One way to de-orbit satellites is to pay out a conductive tether and wait. Without using any power, the wire is charged by the Earth's magnetic field and produces a small drag, pulling the orbit lower and lower. Robots can wait for months while this happens - humans cannot.
    My biggest light-hog is my camera.

  21. #51
    Flashaholic* Sub_Umbra's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    la bonne vie en Amérique
    Posts
    4,749

    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    Quote Originally Posted by EZO View Post
    Funny you should mention a creature. The photo in my previous post #42 of the nose of the craft showing the heat tiles reminded me of the scales of a reptile like in my avatar photo.
    Yes. I thought the nose photo looked like an anaconda....without any eyes.

  22. #52
    Flashaholic* F250XLT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    I can see the Windmills...
    Posts
    2,161

    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    I could get comfortable, crack a beer, start the slide show, and listen to you guys talk for days...This really is interesting stuff, stuff that I know absolutely nothing about.

    So a few stupid questions, if I may...

    In a nutshell, what is the X37B used for?

    What is the hydrogen peroxide tank for?

    How does this thing get into space, via rocket type enclosure?
    "I am not a Collector" - Tim

  23. #53
    Flashaholic* Sub_Umbra's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    la bonne vie en Amérique
    Posts
    4,749

    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    It rides into space on a booster. Unlike the shuttle which was confined to the lower half of Near Earth Orbit, the X-37B is operational in orbits forty times farther out. It is a test bed for autonomously servicing sats (IMO).

    It is so tiny that it is virtually unobservable in space. It is also virtually untrackable.

    It's the coolest black hardware out there right now, that we know about.

    It's also a thought problem. A puzzle.
    Last edited by Sub_Umbra; 06-20-2012 at 03:37 PM.

  24. #54
    Flashaholic* Launch Mini's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    1,538

    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    I too am enjoying this thread.
    We drove around Area 51 year ago ( on our way to Vegas), that was kind of freaky seeing all the security cameras in the desert miles away from the actual Area 51.

  25. #55
    Flashaholic* Launch Mini's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    1,538

    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    Just my thought, if they use this drone to collect & return "Data" there is a lower chance the data can be intercepted ( ie vs radio signals back to earth).
    So not only film, but digital data could be collected & returned to earth.
    Now that I have typed this, I am sure they going to monitor my computer now.

  26. #56
    Flashaholic* Sub_Umbra's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    la bonne vie en Amérique
    Posts
    4,749

    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    Things are so complicated today. In the last century the capabilities of space borne assets was always held close to the vest. They were special secrets so very little solid info existed on them. Still, the effects of these black assets do trickle down and impact our lives in places where we may see it. The problem is, will we recognize it when we see it?

    In the second half of the 20th century you could pretty much figure out spy sat resolutions just by reading signed missile treaties. It was a closely held secret but the silo diameter stipulations in the treaties told the story about how well our sats could see. While the tells for the X-37B won't be that easy, it does exist in the physical world and as such it must obey some rules.

    With something as obscure as the X-37B we just have to take the very few things we do know and then plug in different things into the blank spaces that are possible in physics until we figure it out.

    I think that there's a lot of knowable stuff in the holes between the facts.
    Last edited by Sub_Umbra; 06-20-2012 at 04:12 PM.

  27. #57

    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    The pilots tell good stories:
    Always a good read. Thanks for linking this awesome story.

    Saw a few Concords' take off at Heathrow. Besides shaking the entire airport you always worried it would be able to clear the roof tops because the Concord had a climb ratio marginally better than a flock of geese.

    Actually knew one of the Engineers who worked on the Keyhole Sat program, and it was surprising how much he was willing to yack about.

  28. #58
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Ventura, CA.
    Posts
    2,022

    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    I saw two Auroras fly over head chaparoned by F 18s, they were black isosceles triangles, about 2 or 3 times the length of the F18s.. they flew in tight 'tandem' formation (if that is the right term) towards edwards..never saw them again..
    originally cpf member #14 write me at gmail.

  29. #59
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Maryland, Near DC, USA
    Posts
    6,624

    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    Quote Originally Posted by F250XLT View Post
    What is the hydrogen peroxide tank for?
    Peroxide is physically stable, but chemically unstable, and so it makes a convenient, dense, easy-to-use liquid oxidizer for rocket fuel. I believe Russian liquid-fuel rockets run on jet fuel (i.e. purified kerosene) and peroxide. Torpedoes also use it as an oxygen supply for their tiny diesel engines. (or at least they used to, they might be electric now.)

  30. #60
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Maryland, Near DC, USA
    Posts
    6,624

    Default Re: Secret Aircraft

    Quote Originally Posted by Launch Mini View Post
    Just my thought, if they use this drone to collect & return "Data" there is a lower chance the data can be intercepted ( ie vs radio signals back to earth).
    So not only film, but digital data could be collected & returned to earth.
    Now that I have typed this, I am sure they going to monitor my computer now.
    They have bigger fish to fry. Even if they noticed your post they'd get two sentences in and skip to the next one harvested off the internet without a second thought.

Page 2 of 19 FirstFirst 12345678912 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •