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F-117s over Tonopah

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posted on Sep, 23 2016 @ 03:35 PM
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The Aviationist ran an article today about F-117s flying over Tonopah, contributed to by none other than our own Sammamishman. These are some of the pictures that we were talking about that we took that day, along with a short video of them coming through the valley on their way back to the base. These are the much better pictures that were taken that day. He got some great shots of the sitting in the hangar, on the taxiway, and in the air.

The picture where they're lined up on the runway, it looked like there was a new antenna mounted behind the cockpit, just where the fuselage starts to drop down from the canopy area. It looked pretty big, and was very reflective. Best guess is it's some new type of communications system, or datalink.


In the last couple of years we have documented the flights of some F-117 Nighthawk Stealth Jets over Nevada, spotted from the distant hills east of Tonopah Test Range.

In this post you can find some interesting photographs and a video filmed by The Aviationist’s contributor “Sammamishman” at the end of July 2016.

theaviationist.com...

edit on 9/23/2016 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)




posted on Sep, 23 2016 @ 04:01 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Baselining the new data link alongside the old one. Bet both are testing that new tech from another thread.



posted on Sep, 23 2016 @ 04:11 PM
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a reply to: Northernhollow

The second one didn't look like he had anything, and was playing chase to the first one. There were two more that they were prepping the next day. One was in the end hangar next to the two open. They fueled that one, and closed it back up, then another hangar further to the left was cracked open.



posted on Sep, 23 2016 @ 04:15 PM
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Congratulations to you both, Zaphod and Sammamishman

How far away (aprox.) were these pictures taken? I can imagine it was not easy to get those pictures in the hot air on a moving aircraft.



posted on Sep, 23 2016 @ 04:17 PM
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a reply to: verschickter

Brainwash Butte is about 14 miles from the base. We had to be there right around sunrise to get them to come out that well. They launched pretty early in the morning luckily.



posted on Sep, 23 2016 @ 04:26 PM
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Time for a bigger lens.




posted on Sep, 23 2016 @ 06:15 PM
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Great Pics!!! Yeah it seems they are doing some LO testing out there.

It makes sense in a way. Its a well wrung out air frame and it allows for some degree of testing without pulling a F-35, F-22, or a B-2 from the flight line.

I never buy the retired line until they start showing up in museums in large numbers or are clearly left to rot out at Davis-Montham.



posted on Sep, 23 2016 @ 06:34 PM
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a reply to: grey580

I took those pics through a 6" Meade SCT telescope. Anything bigger and I don't think this sea level dweller would have made it up to the top of 6000+ft Brainwash alive. Lol.
I was packing about 30lbs of gear, the scope, scope gear, mount, water, camera with gear, food, and sun screen.



posted on Sep, 23 2016 @ 06:34 PM
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a reply to: FredT

Thanks.



posted on Sep, 23 2016 @ 06:36 PM
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a reply to: Sammamishman

I wasn't packing nearly as much and barely made it up there. I still don't know how you made it with all that in the pack.



posted on Sep, 23 2016 @ 06:40 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Meanwhile my son waltzes right up to the top in half the time we did. I should have made him the pack mule.



posted on Sep, 23 2016 @ 06:52 PM
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a reply to: Sammamishman

Yeah no kidding. I hate kids some days.



posted on Sep, 23 2016 @ 08:21 PM
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originally posted by: Sammamishman
a reply to: Zaphod58

Meanwhile my son waltzes right up to the top in half the time we did. I should have made him the pack mule.


I just found this video on my TTR search. Nice. I'm not sure how you track a plane with a large telescope.

Note Brainwash is considered 0.1 Tikaboo, and that is generous in my opinion.

You can drive up Brainwash in a quad.



posted on Sep, 23 2016 @ 08:34 PM
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a reply to: gariac

Thanks. I could only track them while flying for a while before I lost them. If I let them fall out of my field of view it was over.I
We figured Tikaboo was 10 times worse that's part of the reason we passed on it.
I was driving my wife's Subaru so driving past the tree at the bottom was as far as we were going.



posted on Sep, 24 2016 @ 02:11 AM
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originally posted by: Sammamishman
a reply to: gariac

Thanks. I could only track them while flying for a while before I lost them. If I let them fall out of my field of view it was over.I
We figured Tikaboo was 10 times worse that's part of the reason we passed on it.
I was driving my wife's Subaru so driving past the tree at the bottom was as far as we were going.


While there are double tracks at Brainwash, the road is way too rocky to drive in a SUV, unless you want to trash it.

We had a freak rain/thunder storm show up while on Brainwash and fortunately the quad could handle two people going down that road. But the interesting part was watching the storm runoff. It was like parts of the desert lit up as pockets got flooded and became reflective. I'm sure dirt along the road gets eroded, leaving the rocks in place, hence the poor state of the road. The storm only lasted a few minutes, but we took the hint and left the area.

Normally I would say the best telescope for photographing the TTR would be a 3inch refractor with a good barlow. (There are many technical reasons.) And that is true for still photography. But if you are going to shoot video, a reflector is probably better simply because the telescope is more compact.

To shoot video with a refractor telescope, you would need a Wimberley head. Even then, I'm not so sure it would work.

At the moment, the NDAA has not passed, so I assume the F117 will be flying for at least a quarter. I haven't gone back to see if the F117 defending is still in the act.



posted on Sep, 24 2016 @ 06:50 AM
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Datalink to new platform antenna?



posted on Sep, 24 2016 @ 08:38 AM
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originally posted by: Sammamishman
a reply to: gariac

Thanks. I could only track them while flying for a while before I lost them. If I let them fall out of my field of view it was over.


Tracking is difficult using your "ideal" set up in your backyard with lots of opportunities.
To do it in a remote location with limited time/opportunity AND get some good pics is amazing TBF.



posted on Sep, 24 2016 @ 09:10 AM
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a reply to: Sammamishman

Bring along a pack mule.

kids work just fine as well.




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