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-   -   F-117 secrecy. (https://www.pprune.org/military-aviation/453162-f-117-secrecy.html)

NutLoose 1st Feb 2021 13:02

Interesting, I was reading about the F-19's in the boneyard this very morning.

chopper2004 8th Apr 2021 00:56

1994 revisited
The Drive reviewed the events of 94 in deep dark Wiltshire they could have waited another 3 years and be 30th anniversary.



chevvron 8th Apr 2021 06:04

Originally Posted by chopper2004 (Post 11024171)
The Drive reviewed the events of 94 in deep dark Wiltshire they could have waited another 3 years and be 30th anniversary.



Factually incorrect calling Boscombe an RAF airfield, it was a government airfield under the control of MOD(PE) then MOD/DPA (ie NOT MOD[Air]) until it was re-titled 'T & EE' instead of 'A & AEE' and didn't become a DRA or DERA untl later.
NB I'm not saying the events described didn't happen; experimental flying from Farnborough had only just moved there in 1994 and there was still some 'interoperation' between the two airfields with Farnborough retaining arrestor gear and sufficient AFRS to be a Crash Div for Boscombe.

SATCOS WHIPPING BOY 8th Apr 2021 09:57

I am saying it never happened.
I was there for 6 years.

However we did get some great pax trips ina flying saucer... once went to Rigel and back in a lunch break. ;-)

BossEyed 8th Apr 2021 10:41

chevvron, Boscombe was never "T&EE"; was there ever any such thing? Maybe the likes of Pendine?

From A&AEE (in two incarnations) Boscombe became became DGT&E (for a very short period) then DTEO then DERA then QQ. I may even have missed one during the Years of Chaos.

I was there at the time of the supposed incident, too and agree with SATCO'sWB: It never happened and you can't get a decent lunch on Rigel.

BEagle 8th Apr 2021 12:34

After A squared, E squared, it became known to many at the time as 'Queera'......

Then it became KwintyKwoo (QinetiQ) or some other bolleaux.

BossEyed 8th Apr 2021 12:41

More salt with that, Beagle?

Paying Guest 8th Apr 2021 16:35

.......or simply just Sleepy Hollow as it was known in my time there

LOMCEVAK 8th Apr 2021 19:13

Originally Posted by chopper2004 (Post 11024171)
The Drive reviewed the events of 94 in deep dark Wiltshire they could have waited another 3 years and be 30th anniversary.



I remember that this story first broke in the Sunday Express. At the main Morning Briefing at Boscombe the next day the Group Captain stood up and asked if anyone knew what it was all about (I was there)!

Please let me state a few facts that I believe explain some of the points raised.
1. The only time that I can recall the main Amesbury to Salisbury road being closed was around that time period and it was when a Tornado F3 recovered to runway 05 from a Towed Radar Decoy trial and they had been unable to wind in or jettison the decoy. This did happen so it was not a 'cover story'.
2. At that time there were often some interesting USAF C-12 variants that landed at Boscombe and spent some time on the ground there. I have no idea why they came in.
3. The strange aircraft in the hangar was Tornado F2A ZD 902, the Tornado Integrated Avionics Research Aircraft, and the hangar was what is now called B168. It was in for maintenance and had the airbrakes open, the canopy removed and the top of the nose that held the windscreen hinged forward to allow access behind the instrument panel. A tarpaulin had been draped over the open cockpit space to keep the cockpit clean as there were a significant number of pigeons that roosted in the roof. One reason that I remember this is that I saw it and it looked very strange. The hangar doors were open both ends and with the afternoon sun angle and shadow it did look like a twin-finned aircraft with a forward hinging canopy.
4. C-5s had landed at Boscombe but the only time that I remember seeing one there was for IAT in 1990. I also recall that it taxied where it should not and sank into the surface. The surfaces that were strong enough for one were fairly limited.

I have no reason to try to dispel any conspiracy theories but I do remember this story because it caused quite a stir on base at the time.


SATCOS WHIPPING BOY 8th Apr 2021 20:33

I concur with LOMCEVAK.
Ref the towed decoy, I was the ATC Sup for that particular recovery and Wilts Police were very understanding. We had two patrol cars on the Amesbury to Salisbury road ready to close it within about 10 mins of making the request for assistance. No one knew how low the decoy would be at recovery speeds so the closure was a precaution. This happened in day time.

Other "events" that aid the conspiritors.

Late one night a car crashed on the Allington Track to the east of the airfied. Fire section were first on scene and helped extricate two minor casualties from a car - which just hapened to be a black Opel Manta - comms on storno helped fuel the conspiracy.

Unmarked CIA aircraft, was actually an Italian one that was over for a period of AAR trials. I know because I was tasked to give the crews the local airspace briefing with L**** F** who was their dedicated Sqn host . Sadly he lost his life a few years later in a tragic accident at Edwards AFB.

SAS/SBS helos were regular transit / stop off visitors so nothing unusual there.

*C-5 visitor was special at that time but came in to pick up two sea king cabs if memory serves me right (again).

In the top hangar I also believe there was an early Typhoon cockpit front end which was either for crew demo or may have been used down at the ejection bay test bed just behind the tower. Nothing existed aft of the canopy hinge so when viewed it did look like a stubby nosed bit of kit with an odd opening canopy. LOMCEVAK's explanation sounds more likely though as he worked that side of the airfield. To us ATCO's it was bandit country up there...unless Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman were involved then we did pop over for drinks LOL

Night time tyre burst of note at that time was, if memory serves me right, a Harrier out of either Farnborough or Dunsfold (could have been a Blackbox c/s) and the theorists love anything with black in the name. The runway was BLACK for sometime that night and that info was passed to LonMil who passed the info over the airwaves to our aircraft that were still out and about that night. I wasn't in tower that night but did the airfield inspection as Local Controller at 6.30 am the following day. No sign of any green blood on the runway but some nice fresh rubber skid marks.

Also, at one point, can't remember the date, but I was part of the FOD plod after the BAC 1-11 landed and scraped aluminium u/c doors down most of the length of the runway.

The original article was in the telegraph (that we saw) a copy of which was glued into the ATC Sups Log book and referenced ALL the inconsequential events which, put together to have happend on one night saw ...
An alien-tech flying machine, codename Black Manta, crashing at a Top Secret (UK Area 51-esque) Base, Two injured occupants were whisked away by CIA operatives in an unregistered 737 under the watchful eye of the SAS, whilst SBS guarded the wreckage which was under tarpaulin from their bivvy of an upturned rubber dingy - until a C-5 came in to remove it back to Nevada.

*another funny story about the C5 and how to scare the s%$ out of a fellow controller, but I'll save that for another day :-)
IAT at Boscombe was 1992.

chopper2004 19th Jun 2021 11:23

40 years ago on this day


RAFEngO74to09 14th Sep 2021 23:40

Out and about again - now provided Red Air aggressor training for ANG units from their home bases

RAFEngO74to09 17th Sep 2021 04:44

More videos and photos here:
Behold F-117s On Their Historic Deployment To Fresno In These Stunning Shots (thedrive.com)

sandiego89 17th Sep 2021 16:50

Originally Posted by RAFEngO74to09 (Post 11112383)

Some great photos in the drive article, with the underside shots especially interesting. No serial numbers on the tails. Can anyone ID the unit badge on the starboard intake? Imagine the badge is a left over from operational days, as they still have some mission markings on the cockpit side.

Airbubba 17th Sep 2021 18:15

The serials appear to be 84-0811 and 88-0841 from markings on the gear and bay doors visible in the released photos.

U.S. Air National Guard photos by Capt. Jason Sanchez


Airbubba 17th Sep 2021 18:39

Here's the unit badge on the right side from a photo by Fred Taleghani.


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