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Boeing's Quiet Bird From the JFK Days

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posted on Sep, 25 2015 @ 05:03 AM
Just to round off the story it looks like the original poster on Reddit first posted the pic 4 years ago:

I find it extraordinary that:
A: The people who usually jump all over such things as evidence of "the military being 50 years ahead" weren't anywhere to be seen between then and now.
B: The people involved in aviation history/SAP's/black projects didn't seemingly investigate until now.

Point A might be explained as a fringe story on Reddit slipping through the cracks of the internet but B suggests that either a lot of these so called experts aren't actually experts OR they are so embedded with those feeding them info that they will never discuss anything that isn't OK'd in advance.

You could write a book based on discussions about a black triangle sighting from an oil rig in the north sea but when there are actual pics of an aircraft with very progressive design facets to its counterparts floating around for 4 years - no one seems to know anything?
edit on 25-9-2015 by Jukiodone because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 25 2015 @ 10:29 AM
a reply to: Jukiodone

I saw that picture 4 years ago, and without the connections to investigate it further, I just kinda Shrugged and figured it was another rabbithole we might one day get to go down.

One thing that's abundantly clear to me (and has been since I learned about the Kingfish) is that the old Skunk Works gospel of stealth being discovered with the Blackbird and perfected with ECHO 1 is utter horsepoop.

It's pretty obvious that other non-Lockheed parties knew a hell of a lot more than Lockheed did about making an aircraft Invisible to radar. One look at Convair's faceted designs from the late 50's tells you that, and when I found out about the quiet bird, that just drove the point home. It's becoming clearer and clearer to me that the use of stealth (and faceting) for XST had nothing to do with developing a new technology, and much more to do with penetrating a specific Soviet defense system and executing a specific mission, where XST's specific technologies became necessary.

My question is whether the earlier designs like Kingfish and Quiet Bird were technological dead ends, leads pursued in the 1960s when the Soviets were every bit our technological equals and we couldn't afford to let any lead go unexplored, only to be later abandoned, similar to the XB-70, Regulus, and air-launched minuteman ICBMs, where only the technologies developed would live on. Or, did they in fact lead to actual operational systems, which due to compartmentalization and extreme classification, were never heard of by the teams at Teledyne Ryan, Lockheed, and Northrop as they designed their own stealth systems in the 70's.

I've got my hunches, but neither answer would surprise me...

posted on Sep, 25 2015 @ 10:35 AM
a reply to: Barnalby

Stealth was discovered long before Lockheed. What Lockheed did that was the big breakthrough was figure out a way to mathematically calculate the RCS before building it, thanks in large part to the Russian mathematical formula.

Prior to that it was a matter of building an RCS model or even flying demonstrator and testing it against a live radar. So yes, they technically did have the big breakthrough for stealth that made it more feasible.

posted on Sep, 25 2015 @ 11:08 AM
a reply to: Zaphod58

Which is funny to me, because wasn't that "trial and error"/"If it looks right, it'll [probably] reflect right" method still more or less responsible for all of Northrop's designs from the XST contender through the ATB (and possibly a certain craft known for keeping our faceted friend company)?

I understand that Lockheed's software paved the way for where the skunk works is now, designing the RQ-170 on a computer to such an extent that the first physical hardware seen are the flying prototypes being spit out by the 3D printers, but I've always been fascinated by the qualitative aspect of aircraft design as well.

I tend to think spatially/visually instead of mathematically, and to that end, I've always had a tremendous amount of respect for guys like Sydney Camm, Barnes Wallis, Kelly Johnson, RJ Mitchell, and the folks at North American, who were all able to understand the laws of aerodynamics, etc to the point that they could basically freehand a shape that would be 95% of the way to being a totally flyable article, and use the math to flesh out the little details such as center of gravity/effort/drag, airfoil shape, and materials.

Stealth seems to work the exact same way, where once you have a visual understanding of how radio waves reflect, and what they tend to reflect off of, you can then proceed to draw up a design that's 95% of the way there more or less based on your understanding alone, and then rely on pole tests, etc to sort out the rest...

posted on Sep, 25 2015 @ 01:00 PM
a reply to: Barnalby

Yes and no. The Lockheed algorithm allowed them to predict how the radar would act when it hit the aircraft. So it allowed for far more precise designs.

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