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“I really can’t give you any of the details,” Jim Alexander, a NASA official with the WB-57 High Altitude Research Program, told ABC News. “You know, the airplane was there, you see it in the picture. But I really can’t tell you what it was for.”
Whatever the mission was, it appears to be over. According to NASA, all three WB-57s are now back in the U.S., with their status listed as “inactive.”
I agree with you in that they are PC 12's. My guess is that the Special Ops use them as a light utility platform.
originally posted by: cmdrkeenkid
a reply to: NavyDoc
Thanks for the info. That's kind of what I figured about the P-3, but was mostly curious about the WB-57.
a reply to: darkwarrior
Thanks! I really thought they looked like PC-12s, but I didn't know we had anything based on the platform. My second guess was a Valmet L-70. I know that Eritrea has some in service, so it wouldn't have surprised me if Djibouti did as well.
High Altitude Research Program
The NASA WB-57 Program provides unique, high-altitude airborne platforms to US Government agencies, academic institutions, and commercial customers in order to support scientific research and advanced technology development and testing at locations around the world. Mission examples include atmospheric and earth science, ground mapping, cosmic dust collection, rocket launch support, and test bed operations for future airborne or spaceborne systems.