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Images of RQ-170 behind a boom

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posted on May, 4 2015 @ 04:35 PM
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Just saw this, hadn't seen it posted on here yet. Looks like the Beast of Kandahar might have been thirsty.





These images, obtained from a source that wishes to remain anonymous (and one that I would rate as good), show what appears to be the semi-autonomous (flown in a point and click manner from a desktop-like interface or totally on autopilot) RQ-170 or similar craft moving into pre-contact position behind an aerial tanker. The source also relayed to me that these photos were shot before the tanker plugged into the jet and started feeding it gas.

There have been previous reports that unmanned aircraft have been refueling from USAF tankers for years, and the technology has clearly been something that the USAF has been interested in developing since around 2006. It seems to have been in continuous public development using Calspan’s Learjet unmanned aircraft surrogate testbed since that date, before going quiet in recent years. This may be a sign that the capability finally went from public testing to secret operation.


Is This Proof That The US Air Force Can Aerially Refuel Stealth Drones?

Any word on whether these are legitimate or just good editing work?




posted on May, 4 2015 @ 04:37 PM
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a reply to: cmdrkeenkid

If they can take off and land on autopilot, they can refuel on autopilot. My vacuum cleaner knows how to park itself for a recharge, fer chrissake.



posted on May, 4 2015 @ 04:39 PM
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a reply to: Enderdog

Your vacuum cleaner is only moving in two dimensions, trying to link up to a stationary object. Not quite the same, I think, but I understand what you're getting at.



posted on May, 4 2015 @ 04:46 PM
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a reply to: cmdrkeenkid

Wonder if Boomer has any pics of the 170 he can share here?



posted on May, 4 2015 @ 04:49 PM
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a reply to: BASSPLYR

I'm wondering if he already has. He's active on FA and has been known to contribute in the past.



posted on May, 4 2015 @ 08:38 PM
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a reply to: cmdrkeenkid

that looks like a Cali backdrop



posted on May, 4 2015 @ 10:26 PM
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a reply to: cmdrkeenkid

They're legit.



posted on May, 4 2015 @ 11:37 PM
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Wait,

are we running refueling missions on behalf of Iran now?



posted on May, 5 2015 @ 12:22 AM
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originally posted by: BASSPLYR
a reply to: cmdrkeenkid

Wonder if Boomer has any pics of the 170 he can share here?



nope



posted on May, 5 2015 @ 12:25 AM
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originally posted by: cmdrkeenkid
a reply to: BASSPLYR

I'm wondering if he already has. He's active on FA and has been known to contribute in the past.


well dont cut me short! what about this one??? lol foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com...



posted on May, 5 2015 @ 04:32 AM
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originally posted by: boomer135

originally posted by: BASSPLYR
a reply to: cmdrkeenkid

Wonder if Boomer has any pics of the 170 he can share here?



nope


So should we assume that because the boom operator wants to remain anonymous- this scenario has occurred so many times across so many Booms he/she believes they can do so successfully?

Or should we infer that any pics have to go through an official channel before being rubber stamped for general release and the journo is in fact providing anonymity for the official channel?




edit on 5-5-2015 by Jukiodone because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 5 2015 @ 04:44 AM
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originally posted by: Enderdog
a reply to: cmdrkeenkid

If they can take off and land on autopilot, they can refuel on autopilot. My vacuum cleaner knows how to park itself for a recharge, fer chrissake.

I believe your vacuum cleaner might not work too well at 20,000 feet with a head wind.



posted on May, 6 2015 @ 02:31 AM
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I wonder where the reciprocal is, looking at the high-rez photos, can't see anything.



posted on May, 6 2015 @ 02:56 AM
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The images look real to me, and bearing in mind that we know autonomous refueling is possible, and there have been several rumours of boomers pumping gas into "unusual" aircraft, I see no reason to doubt their authenticity.

The interesting take-away is that it would seem this aircraft is now being flown in daylight over (presumably) the USA.



posted on May, 6 2015 @ 04:02 AM
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Of course they are real....why would there be any doubt?

Foxtrot Alpha is a good reliable source- hence my question about their ties to "official channels" and the mechanisms in place in terms of former Airforce employees releasing "Leaked" military images.

Love Foxtrot Alpha- the story about "Salty Goat" had me lol'ing to tears....but I do wonder if the F A is an inside joke about what you will find on there that is not officially sanctioned....i.e F*** A**.

edit on 6-5-2015 by Jukiodone because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 6 2015 @ 05:14 AM
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a reply to: Jukiodone

Well one reason: when was the last time you heard of a boomer releasing images of a still technically black (maybe grey) aircraft? Although that links into what you say about where did they come from and why were they released now :-P



posted on May, 6 2015 @ 06:38 AM
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Only reason for my speculation and question of legitimacy is that Tyler ends his with the same comment. It's a surprising picture to see, especially with the current success that's being touted as "breakthrough" and "game changing" with the aerial refueling of the X-47B.


a reply to: boomer135

So, you either have pictures and can't/won't share them or you don't have pictures. My money is on the former, you greedy, picture hogging jerk.


a reply to: boomer135

Yeah, I had assumed that one was you too. I remember reading it awhile ago. It was just credited to "The Boom" and I didn't want to jump to the conclusion.

a reply to: Laxpla

It's probably similar to the B-2. Rotates in and out as needed to help maintain stealth. The pictures were from a distance and shallow enough angle that even if it were rotated out, you probably wouldn't see it.

a reply to: gfad

Do you mean on purpose? There have been a couple incidents that lead to unexpected phone calls, of memory serves me right. One with a grey bird, one with an oddly placed sensor.



posted on May, 6 2015 @ 09:16 AM
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originally posted by: boomer135

originally posted by: cmdrkeenkid
a reply to: BASSPLYR

I'm wondering if he already has. He's active on FA and has been known to contribute in the past.


well dont cut me short! what about this one??? lol foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com...


Whose is the Tonka on that pic on the link?




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