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SR-71 replacement

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SR-71 replacement

Old 11th Jan 2018, 16:43
  #61 (permalink)  
 
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A recent overhead showed an odd looking aircraft down at an engine facility near West Palm Beach shaped very much like one of these sooper dooper go fasts.

Lots of speculation about that.
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 17:40
  #62 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by SASless View Post
A recent overhead showed an odd looking aircraft down at an engine facility near West Palm Beach shaped very much like one of these sooper dooper go fasts.

Lots of speculation about that.
Only mil facility with long runway be way north- Patrick AFB/Caneveral Station...or further south to Homestead and then further ; Boca Chica?

cant exactly land at nearest FBO or Miami Intl?

cheers
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 17:49
  #63 (permalink)  
 
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A recent overhead showed an odd looking aircraft down at an engine facility near West Palm Beach shaped very much like one of these sooper dooper go fasts.

Lots of speculation about that.
Apparently a Sikorsky/P&W test vehicle used for ground taxi thrust tests. Airfield next to Palm Beach Raceway.
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 17:59
  #64 (permalink)  
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 18:00
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Originally Posted by SpringHeeledJack View Post
Apparently a Sikorsky/P&W test vehicle used for ground taxi thrust tests. Airfield next to Palm Beach Raceway.
That brings me to a story one of my colleagues was telling me around 2 decades ago. He went over to Palm Beach to pick up S-76A for a UK customer as it was just finishing some flight trials there.

He was sat in one of the managers office drinking coffee, (mid morning) checking the tech manuals, chewing the fat etc when corner of his eye -some dark colored rotorcraft whizzed past the window. The lightheartedness and humor in the office went dark and the manager was visibly upset and said "you never saw that".

He said it was not a S-70 or UH-60 type arguably it could have been one of the two RAH-66 Comanche prototypes but this was in the early 90s before the Comanche flew in 96.....

Either someone in the HawkWorks forgot there was a foreign visitor in this case a Brit on site who was taking delivery of a new VIP a/c or someone forgot to mention it to the other folk on site...

cheers
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 18:09
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Given that it's a small field and State Road 710 from Okeechobee to West Palm Beach runs right by the airport, anything airborne would be easily visible to the public anyway, it seems pretty unlikely that a random Brit on site would be any more of a security threat than A Random Bloke passing by outside.

Then again, the road is "SR71 0" <Twilight Zone noises>
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 18:25
  #67 (permalink)  
 
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As the 'RAF Boscombe Down's Black Day' link has been posted here, may I add some facts surrounding this; I was a test pilot on Experimental Flying Squadron at Boscombe at the time. The first that we knew of this story was when it appeared in The Sunday Express. At morning briefing the next day the Group Captain Superintendent of Flying stood up and asked if anyone knew what the hell the story was about! We concluded that it revolved around two items.

First, trials were being flown at that time of the Towed Radar Decoy system on the Tornado F3 and on one sortie the crew were unable to jettison the decoy and had to land with it still attached. The runway in use at Boscombe was 05 where the approach is over the main Amesbury to Salisbury road so the police closed the road while the aircraft landed. An Emergency State was declared such that the Fire and Rescue vehicles positioned at the threshold and followed the aircraft after it touched down. It was shut down on the runway because it could not taxi back with the decoy still attached. If you look at a Tornado tail-on it appears to sit nose low.

Secondly, Tornado F2A ZD902, the Tornado Integrated Avionics Research Aircraft, was in one of the hangars for maintenance. It was parked with the airbrakes open, canopy removed and the nose section containing the windscreen, which hinges at the front, raised. The cockpit was covered in a tarpaulin to prevent contamination by the resident pigeons. I walked across the apron after watching the last flight of the Nightbird Buccaneer and the hangar doors were fully open at both ends and, with the sun aspect, TIARA looked most unusual and not like a Tornado at all; I did comment on this at the time.

And so starts a good rumour and conspiracy theory ....

In the mid 1980's, two Boscombe Down 'A' Squadron TPs did carry out an evaluation of the F-117. However, such evaluations were part of the squadron's task and similar assessments had been flown on the F-15, YF-17 and EAP. Also, an RAF pilot who did an exchange tour on the F-117 subsequently trained as a TP at ETPS then served as a TP at Farnborough before leaving the RAF and working as a TP for BAE at Warton.

The ASTRA Hawk was a variable stability aircraft which was operated by ETPS and not RAFCAM, ASTRA standing for Airborne Simulation, Training and Research Aircraft.

I genuinely have no knowledge of any of the other aspects of the story!

Rgds

L
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 18:32
  #68 (permalink)  
 
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That is without a shadow of doubt an RF test range, not an engine test facility (of which there are numerous just south). Note the large dish array with zero elevation and the test stand at the end of the "runway"/range...some one is measuring RCS of an interesting aeroshape.
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 18:43
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Ion, note also a similar shape on the other side of the shed from the object of interest.
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 19:10
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Apply Occam's Razor and you’ll probably come up with the correct answer.

Or you might get Occam's facial hair.

The WPB site is an RCS range. Probably Sikorsky and P&W's. Protip: on a full version of GE, use the historic imagery slider to find out how long it's been there. There are quite a few RCS ranges scattered around the U.S., many of them abandoned or little used.

As for the object, it looks like the disembodied ass-end of a single-engine jet with an axi nozzle.
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 21:04
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Originally Posted by LOMCEVAK View Post
And so starts a good rumour and conspiracy theory ....

.....I genuinely have no knowledge of any of the other aspects of the story!

Rgds

L
L.

Well you would say that, wouldn't you......
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 21:11
  #72 (permalink)  
 
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Zoom out on the image, the engine test stands are a little further south and west.

Also if you go back to the image from 5/2017 then the "object" that is sitting behind the radio dishes is sitting on top of a pole at the other end of the test strip
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 23:12
  #73 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by LOMCEVAK View Post
As the 'RAF Boscombe Down's Black Day' link has been posted here, may I add some facts surrounding this; I was a test pilot on Experimental Flying Squadron at Boscombe at the time. The first that we knew of this story was when it appeared in The Sunday Express. At morning briefing the next day the Group Captain Superintendent of Flying stood up and asked if anyone knew what the hell the story was about! We concluded that it revolved around two items.

First, trials were being flown at that time of the Towed Radar Decoy system on the Tornado F3 and on one sortie the crew were unable to jettison the decoy and had to land with it still attached. The runway in use at Boscombe was 05 where the approach is over the main Amesbury to Salisbury road so the police closed the road while the aircraft landed. An Emergency State was declared such that the Fire and Rescue vehicles positioned at the threshold and followed the aircraft after it touched down. It was shut down on the runway because it could not taxi back with the decoy still attached. If you look at a Tornado tail-on it appears to sit nose low.

Secondly, Tornado F2A ZD902, the Tornado Integrated Avionics Research Aircraft, was in one of the hangars for maintenance. It was parked with the airbrakes open, canopy removed and the nose section containing the windscreen, which hinges at the front, raised. The cockpit was covered in a tarpaulin to prevent contamination by the resident pigeons. I walked across the apron after watching the last flight of the Nightbird Buccaneer and the hangar doors were fully open at both ends and, with the sun aspect, TIARA looked most unusual and not like a Tornado at all; I did comment on this at the time.

And so starts a good rumour and conspiracy theory ....

In the mid 1980's, two Boscombe Down 'A' Squadron TPs did carry out an evaluation of the F-117. However, such evaluations were part of the squadron's task and similar assessments had been flown on the F-15, YF-17 and EAP. Also, an RAF pilot who did an exchange tour on the F-117 subsequently trained as a TP at ETPS then served as a TP at Farnborough before leaving the RAF and working as a TP for BAE at Warton.

The ASTRA Hawk was a variable stability aircraft which was operated by ETPS and not RAFCAM, ASTRA standing for Airborne Simulation, Training and Research Aircraft.

I genuinely have no knowledge of any of the other aspects of the story!

Rgds

L
Yep said TP on F-117 won the McKenna trophy and was on BBC Tv Series Test Pilot. His background was Buccs and think one of the youngest students:


He was a Flt Lt at time of bing summoned stateside along with Sqn Ldr

Cheers
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 23:29
  #74 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by BossEyed View Post
Given that it's a small field and State Road 710 from Okeechobee to West Palm Beach runs right by the airport, anything airborne would be easily visible to the public anyway, it seems pretty unlikely that a random Brit on site would be any more of a security threat than A Random Bloke passing by outside.

Then again, the road is "SR71 0" <Twilight Zone noises>
Ah interesting point there which brings me to someone posted in Sexret Projects forum about the SR-72 demonstrator sighting at Palmdale. They said Plant 42 is not as isolated as believed due to ongoing urban devlopments and mile or so from main highways. Subsequently things cannot be flown under wraps there for long without being observed by the general public.

Cheers
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 23:56
  #75 (permalink)  
 
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I worked at that WPB place back in the early 80's.

There's been quite a few hush-hush projects pass through there over the decades....none of which I knew about despite working there.

But then a Gentleman knows when to avert his eyes now don't he.
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Old 12th Jan 2018, 06:44
  #76 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by SASless View Post
I worked at that WPB place back in the early 80's.
That well lit Pratt facility in the swamp has stood out for decades as you fly over South Florida at night.

I don't believe I ever noticed the WPB radar cross section facility. Lockheed has an old but apparently still active RCS range southeast of MCO:

Radar Cross Section Facility in St Cloud, FL (Google Maps) - Virtual Globetrotting

Originally Posted by Green Flash View Post
Ion, note also a similar shape on the other side of the shed from the object of interest.
On the north side of the WPB Google Maps shot is what looks to me like a similar but different double diamond shaped object covered in a tarpaulin. Could it be somebody's boat?
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Old 12th Jan 2018, 07:57
  #77 (permalink)  
 
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HawkWorks @ Elmira

Originally Posted by SASless View Post
I worked at that WPB place back in the early 80's.

There's been quite a few hush-hush projects pass through there over the decades....none of which I knew about despite working there.

But then a Gentleman knows when to avert his eyes now don't he.


Lol is that what you tell your gfs/ wives over the years lol

The other L-M Sikorsky spooky place apart from WPB be Elmira ( formerly Schweizer ) where HawkWorks is based

Indications Of Hawk Works In U.S. Stealth Helicopter | AWIN content from Aviation Week

Cheers
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Old 12th Jan 2018, 11:35
  #78 (permalink)  
 
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Airbubba - I think that's the ex-Martin-Marietta range built in the 1980s.
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Old 13th Jan 2018, 00:02
  #79 (permalink)  
 
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I spent a lot of time at that Pratt facility in the early 1980's observing JT9D engine testing. IIRC, back then Pratt flew a corporate 727 shuttle between there and East Harford every weekday. Heard some interesting sounding jet engines in the distance while working there. At least at the time, security was pretty lax - they even had a rental car desk at that airport (I swapped out my rental there one time when the one I got from the West Palm Beach airport was a POS).


BTW, it appears it's not just LockMart - Boeing is working on something as well.
Boeing Unveils Hypersonic ?Son-Of-Blackbird? Contender | Defense content from Aviation Week
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Old 13th Jan 2018, 00:21
  #80 (permalink)  
 
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OK, that isn't optimised for the speeds involved at SR71 or higher.
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