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EXCLUSIVE PHOTO: LARGE FLYING WING DRONE SPOTTED AT PLANT 42
AviatoinIntel ^ | 9/5/2014 | Ty Rogoway

Posted on 09/05/2013 6:19:41 AM PDT by taildragger

This picture was taken from a pilot passing through Palmdale about a 16 months ago. What appears is a large flying wing type unmanned aircraft with a dorsal intake. The wingspan appears to be right around seventy feet. The aircraft appears here in the smaller of two wide and low slung aircraft shelters, built around 2010, located by the engine test cells, just north of the Northrop Grumman installation at Plant 42.

(Excerpt) Read more at aviationintel.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Extended News
KEYWORDS: stealth; topsecret; uav
Although the aircraft bears a resemblance to the now famous RQ-170 Sentinel, its dimensions are quite larger. Although it is widely reported that the RQ-170, as we know it at least, has a wingspan of about 75 feet, the reality is that it is actually much smaller. Somewhere between 38 and 50 feet is much more accurate. There have been growing rumors of a larger ”Super Sentinel,” one that may even pack a decent attack capability, as well as upgraded stealth features, communications, and survivability features, not to mention greater persistence. Although this is still rumor supported by scant facts at this point, this aircraft would certainly fit that bill.

The mystery drone could also be the replacement for the Global Hawk (which could even be the Above “Super Sentinel), giving the aircraft low observability for closer proximity monitoring and even allowing for penetration into enemy airspace (see this article for more on this concept and its relation to the RQ-170 family). This supposed stealthy Global Hawk successor, more of a survivable sensor platform than anything else, has been all but admitted to by USAF brass and industry leaders.

This aircraft could also be an un-disclosed UAV/UAS/UCAV test article and/or part of a black, spiral development program. The two side-by-side shelters, of different scales and clearly made for low slung, wide wing-span aircraft, is also interesting to say the least. We know a large facility with a 175 foot door was built-in the mid 2000′s at groom lake, maybe this shelter services that same machine from time to time. Notably, both are too small to fit the B-2 bomber, America’s only known large-scale flying wing aircraft. It is also rumored that there is at least one, but possibly multiple, half built technology demonstrators that have been recently finished, updated and flown to support the next generation bomber and other black-world developmental programs. This machine could also be one of those unique airframes. Some may also say that this is the General Atomics Avenger, I highly doubt it as it does not quite match the Avenger’s long fuselage and the tails would be more prominent due to their size and outward cant angle.

PALM copy

Above is a Google Earth screen shot of the area around the hangar in question. The shelter measures 80 feet, the larger one adjacent to it is almost identical in design and measures some 150 feet. In the shot you can see some distortion that looks almost like a quad platypus tail on the aircraft in question. I doubt this is actually the case. Most likely it is an optical illusion or that effect is caused by objects similar to the structures labeled “clutter” in the image. If anyone knows what those objects are please shoot me an email or comment below.

I would greatly appreciate hearing my readers’ input as to what you all think this aircraft is. Please post your thoughts and analysis below!

A huge thanks to “SFH” for sharing this unique and intriguing image with all of us!


1 posted on 09/05/2013 6:19:41 AM PDT by taildragger
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To: taildragger; Paleo Conservative

Aviation Ping List Please...


2 posted on 09/05/2013 6:20:10 AM PDT by taildragger (The E-GOP won't know what hit them, The Party of Reagan is almost here, hang tight folks....)
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To: taildragger

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBN2Ur-Fiv4


3 posted on 09/05/2013 6:22:37 AM PDT by Red Badger (It is dangerous to be right in matters where established men are wrong. .....Voltaire)
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To: taildragger

That’s a hangar. It’s a large structure where aircraft are stored, but that’s not important right now.


4 posted on 09/05/2013 6:24:11 AM PDT by thefactor (yes, as a matter of fact, i DID only read the excerpt)
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To: taildragger

5 posted on 09/05/2013 6:24:25 AM PDT by Red Badger (It is dangerous to be right in matters where established men are wrong. .....Voltaire)
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To: thefactor

Shirley, you jest!.............


6 posted on 09/05/2013 6:25:03 AM PDT by Red Badger (It is dangerous to be right in matters where established men are wrong. .....Voltaire)
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To: Red Badger

7 posted on 09/05/2013 6:26:45 AM PDT by thefactor (yes, as a matter of fact, i DID only read the excerpt)
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To: thefactor

8 posted on 09/05/2013 6:27:03 AM PDT by JRios1968 (I'm guttery and trashy, with a hint of lemon. - Laz)
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To: Red Badger
No he's serious. And don't call him shirley!

CC

9 posted on 09/05/2013 6:27:31 AM PDT by Celtic Conservative (tease not the dragon for thou art crunchy when roasted and taste good with ketchup)
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To: taildragger

If I were to venture a guess...- possible drone bomber ?


10 posted on 09/05/2013 6:31:16 AM PDT by jsanders2001
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To: taildragger

It looks more like a carport shot with a cellphone camera, from a Cessna.

Why would a top secret object be stored like this?


11 posted on 09/05/2013 6:31:51 AM PDT by cicero2k
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To: thefactor; Red Badger; JRios1968; Celtic Conservative
That’s a hangar. It’s a large structure where aircraft are stored, but that’s not important right now.

And right on cue, all the Airplane! jokes follow...

Thanks for making me laugh, in an otherwise horrible morning.

12 posted on 09/05/2013 6:32:01 AM PDT by justlurking (tagline removed, as demanded by Admin Moderator)
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To: justlurking

I have an uncle named Shirley!.................


13 posted on 09/05/2013 6:33:11 AM PDT by Red Badger (It is dangerous to be right in matters where established men are wrong. .....Voltaire)
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To: cicero2k

exactly


14 posted on 09/05/2013 6:35:49 AM PDT by USNBandit (sarcasm engaged at all times)
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To: taildragger
Date: 9/5/2014

Can't wait for this to happen!

15 posted on 09/05/2013 6:38:36 AM PDT by Lazamataz (Early 2009 to 7/21/2013 - RIP my little girl Cathy. You were the best cat ever. You will be missed.)
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To: cicero2k
Why would a top secret object be stored like this?

It wouldn't!

That is out in the open. I guarantee that anything secret being worked on in Palmdale is completely under wraps in an enclosed area.

16 posted on 09/05/2013 6:38:54 AM PDT by CAluvdubya (Molon Labe)
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To: taildragger

First thing that comes to my mind is swing wings, like an F-14.


17 posted on 09/05/2013 6:39:35 AM PDT by SlowBoat407 (Anyone can fib. It takes an intellectual to tell a really big lie.)
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To: CAluvdubya

18 posted on 09/05/2013 6:53:27 AM PDT by Arkansas Toothpick
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To: taildragger
What is it?

Sharknado, I think...

19 posted on 09/05/2013 7:04:23 AM PDT by Zeppo ("Happy Pony is on - and I'm NOT missing Happy Pony")
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To: Red Badger
I have an uncle named Shirley!.................

Did he have a boy named Sue? ;-)

20 posted on 09/05/2013 8:51:02 AM PDT by Fast Moving Angel (A moral wrong is not a civil right: No religious sanction of an irreligious act.)
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To: taildragger

Wingspan of the RQ-170 is 65’ 7”.


21 posted on 09/05/2013 9:34:47 AM PDT by A.A. Cunningham (Barry Soetoro can't pass E-verify)
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