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Documentary Shows what they claim to be F-117 comp

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posted on Aug, 31 2017 @ 12:16 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

My understanding is that Tacit Blue was very good at its job during testing as well, using its radar on board as well as evading radar.
edit on 31-8-2017 by Flipper35 because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 31 2017 @ 12:20 PM
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a reply to: Flipper35

It flat out shocked some people, because everyone knew round shapes weren't stealthy, and radar was easy to detect well above usable range for the transmitting aircraft.



posted on Aug, 31 2017 @ 12:41 PM
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originally posted by: Jacksonsman1

Couple Questions though, Is it widely believed that the F-117 and the Companion were not developed together, but were later found to be complimentary? Or from the get-go it was flying alongside the f-117 during testing? Once they are retired, would they likely be put in to the same type of storage the f-117 is in out at TTR??

Here you go:


originally posted by: boomer135
a reply to: weavty1

I couldn't tell you if it was built at the very same time but within years of each other. [...]

www.abovetopsecret.com...


originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: BigTrain

[...] The companion was flying with the F-117 when it was still black.

www.abovetopsecret.com...

They are probably still around:

originally posted by: boomer135

[...]Someone asked how I knew it was still flying this year and the answer is a boom from Edwards let me know that he refueled it as recently as January [2014].


I dont think they will be put in active storage. Or if they are atm they will soon phase them out for good. The F-35A is almost FOC at this point, it should be able to do the job.



posted on Aug, 31 2017 @ 12:57 PM
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I've got a few questions for those in the know about this.

When the ATA-A project was being worked on there was also the ATA-B which was intended to find a replacement for the F111. Lockheed's entry looked like a larger F117 and Northrop's entry was very similar to the B2. There was also the ATA project to replace the A6 for the Navy at roughly the same time which produced the A12 Avenger which was supposed to have some stealth features. Soon after, there was the ATF project which produced the F22 and F23 which eventually lost out and I've seen hints that this might not have completely disappeared. I have also come across mention of the A/F-X attack project which had the aim of replacing the F14, A6, F111, F117 and F15 aircraft which had a variable geometry wing like the F14 and F111 but had stealth capabilities. So a few projects aimed at providing replacements for the F111 and A6 which both performed EW but were initially ground attack craft.

Did the companion come out of one of these projects which had an initial aim of being something else but proved to be successful at other missions and eventually evolved in to the role it does now?

While looking in to these projects I stumbled across a site which mentions the Northrop Grumman AX17 which apparently is a fictional plane but mentions that it was based on the F23 but with swing wing. Certainly the F23 was a highly capable plane so does the companion share some of the DNA of the F23? It would certainly tick some of the boxes and I seem to recall mention of the F23 being considered for a bomber/ground attack role based on it's capabilities.

From the hints and the picture Penroc3 posted above it looks like the companion is a stealthy swing wing of some description.



posted on Aug, 31 2017 @ 01:37 PM
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a reply to: Agent58
Hey welcome


Did the companion come out of one of these projects which had an initial aim of being something else but proved to be successful at other missions and eventually evolved in to the role it does now?

Short answer to the first part: nope, probably not

The Companion was designed pretty much alongside the F-117 ('within years' acc to boomer135) and flew with the Nighthawk when it was still classified (Zaphod58).

If you think about it, the need for a companion craft probably materilaized when Lockheed was trying to convert Have Key into something combat worthy under Senior Trend. They probably were like – yeah this will work, but there are shortcomings we need to adress somehow – thus the Companion. And Lockheed had no ideas besides the F-117 so someone else build it. Northrop just lost the competion to Lockheed, McDonnell vanished and Boeing kept quiet all the way. Take your pick...

Anyway, this means we are talking 1977 – 1978 ish, so they most likely started designing the Companion before the end of the decade. Designing and building aircraft takes time, even in the black world. The F-117 went IOC in 1983 and it was revealed in 1988. Since the Companion flew with the Nighthawk when it was still black we are looking at an IOC date for the Companion somewhere around the mid Eighties.
This means definitely no relation the ATA / A-12 program. It was not started until 1983. Same is true for the ATF (nothing really happened until after 1985) or A/F-X (early Ninteies after the A-12 cancellation).
If anything it would be the other way around. Proposals for those projects could be based on experience gained building the Companion. Depending on the developer of course. Barnalby made a great case for a YF-23 predecessor once, but Zaphod shot it down.
THAP is out too for the same reason before someone gets ideas.
ATA-B never went anywhere: www.f-117a.com...

As for the evovling roles oft he Companion; as said before in this thread, the Companion started out as an escort - most likely with a SEAD/DEAD capability - and evolved into an first hour electronic warfare aircraft when the EF-111 went away.



While looking in to these projects I stumbled across a site which mentions the Northrop Grumman AX17 which apparently is a fictional plane but mentions that it was based on the F23 but with swing wing. Certainly the F23 was a highly capable plane so does the companion share some of the DNA of the F23? It would certainly tick some of the boxes and I seem to recall mention of the F23 being considered for a bomber/ground attack role based on it's capabilities.

The AX17 is a non starter. As said above, the YF-23 was brought up before. You can read about it here, but while its a good idea its not it:
www.abovetopsecret.com...


originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: Barnalby
Very interesting thoughts.
Wrong, but very interesting.

Well on the shape it's wrong. Not bad on the rest.



originally posted by: Barnalby
a reply to: Zaphod58
So you're saying the companion was/is a stealth A2A/Wild Weasel/ECM craft NOT built by Lockheed, and there was a "missing link" between the Tacit Blue and the YF-23, but they weren't the same aircraft?


Maybe it *was* a Boeing-built evolution of the Quiet Bird



originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: Barnalby
I have said what I said and that's what I said.


If you are partial to the YF-23 (who isnt?):


originally posted by: boomer135
Lets think about this. Most people will agree that the YF-23 whipped the crap out of the YF-22 in just about every aspect of the competition, with a few exceptions. Now why would the YF-22 get picked for the contract over the -23? Perhaps the YF-23 went blackworld as either a RF-23 or FB-23, or even taken a step further and made into a sixth gen fighter to replace legacy fighters in a decade or two.

The two most people talk about are the grey one and the black one. I was given the opportunity to refuel the black one once, and mind you this was after the competition was already over and the F-22 was in production. Sooooo why were they still flying it? I'll let ya in on a little secret...there's more than just two of them built....

www.abovetopsecret.com...

hope springs eternal I say



edit on 31-8-2017 by mightmight because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 1 2017 @ 10:13 AM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: Blackfinger

Not necessarily. Best way to hide it is put it under somewhere you wouldn't look. There is a reason the F-117 got a fighter designation.


Because both the F-117 and the companion were build close together timewise, it would be logical to assume the companion also got a 'F' designation. My best guess would be F-119 if it was named later or F-115 if it was named earlier. If they were really sneaky they could just as well have called it the F-117E and probably most would have considered it a typo



posted on Sep, 1 2017 @ 11:01 AM
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a reply to: spaceman42

Interesting tidbit, the Air Force quietly redesigned the B-2A into the B-2B.



posted on Sep, 1 2017 @ 11:29 AM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: spaceman42

Interesting tidbit, the Air Force quietly redesigned the B-2A into the B-2B.


Might this have something to do with a change in mission and/or equipment upgrade which add capabilities so a redesignation is warranted? I don't have any inside information this. Just thinking out loud. Seems like a logical explanation...



posted on Sep, 1 2017 @ 11:40 AM
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a reply to: spaceman42

They've upgraded so much since their original configuration that they decided a change was appropriate. All normal upgrades, just a lot of them.



posted on Sep, 1 2017 @ 12:23 PM
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originally posted by: spaceman42

originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: Blackfinger

Not necessarily. Best way to hide it is put it under somewhere you wouldn't look. There is a reason the F-117 got a fighter designation.


Because both the F-117 and the companion were build close together timewise, it would be logical to assume the companion also got a 'F' designation. My best guess would be F-119 if it was named later or F-115 if it was named earlier. If they were really sneaky they could just as well have called it the F-117E and probably most would have considered it a typo


Ah but it didnt get an F designation. And since you dont build the escort before the thing you want to escort you dont designate it before either.


originally posted by: B2StealthBomber
a reply to: Forensick
The companion is very real, it's also not called the f-19, it follows the f-117 in its designation but not the fighter part.

www.abovetopsecret.com...
(in a related discussion somwhere else boomer135 confirmed StealthBomber knew the desgination)

I'm with you on the rest. Something with 117, 118 or 119.



posted on Sep, 1 2017 @ 01:27 PM
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It also wasn't designed and built specifically to compliment the F-117 initially, so look to that for clues as to it's designation..



posted on Sep, 1 2017 @ 02:57 PM
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originally posted by: EBJet
It also wasn't designed and built specifically to compliment the F-117 initially, so look to that for clues as to it's designation..

hm

IF the companion was not specifically built to work with the F-117 why did they built in the first place?
You dont need a LO platform for escort / recon when the environment is permisse enough to use a conventional platform to deliver the goods.
If this is true i'd guess they would have been shooting for a very specific capabiltiy to act as a force multiplier.
I can think of two ways to look at this. If they wanted a covert platform to identify and find targets behind enemy lines we could reopen the debate on CSIRS (ugh).
But honestly, i never really understood the need for it when looking at it from a Cold War perspective.
ASTEI/Haryey/XST happened because the Air Force was looking at new ways to penetrate Soviet Air Defense in Central Europe after the Yom Kippur War experience. Air Defensice Systems at the time were not really mobile and neither were the 'strategic' targets interdiction strikes would need to hit to slow a sovjet advance.
Battlefield Surveillance and the entire Assault Breaker stuff came only after the first F-117s were rolling of the assembly line.
So what if the Companion happened because the Air Force not only wanted to sneak through Sovjet Air Defenses using a LO bomber platform but directly engage them as well? Maybe the reason to build the companion was to up the SEAD game.

Just speculating, really interesting comment.



posted on Sep, 1 2017 @ 03:11 PM
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originally posted by: EBJet
It also wasn't designed and built specifically to compliment the F-117 initially, so look to that for clues as to it's designation..


Well, then it might very well be an RF designation. A stealth/night follow-up to the RF-4C or something like that. Roughly fits the time frame I think. Don't forget it was probably designed in the late '70's, I always seem to forget how old most of these designs really are. It was a different time back then, technologically and tactically.

Edit: now that I am thinking it could even be a RB depending on its original conceived mission.
edit on 192017 by spaceman42 because: because I can



posted on Sep, 1 2017 @ 03:32 PM
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originally posted by: spaceman42

originally posted by: EBJet
It also wasn't designed and built specifically to compliment the F-117 initially, so look to that for clues as to it's designation..


Well, then it might very well be an RF designation. A stealth/night follow-up to the RF-4C or something like that.

->


originally posted by: clay2 baraka

originally posted by: boomer135

a reply to: Stealthbomber

Zaph knows it. Lol. You do too, although I can't say how.....


So it's a TR-3 type craft with a different designation, likely evolved from the Sneaky Pete demonstrator..

So, let's call it an RF-2 Manta..




originally posted by: boomer135
a reply to: clay2 baraka

Not even close. Lol

www.abovetopsecret.com...

The conversation on the pages before that are very interesting as well. I still think X-XXX is the best bet.



posted on Sep, 1 2017 @ 05:33 PM
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a reply to: mightmight

spector astra etc other things probaly with a F or FB



posted on Sep, 17 2017 @ 01:53 AM
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a reply to: penroc3

I'll go with an EF-XXX designation..



posted on Sep, 17 2017 @ 02:17 AM
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What happened to 135boomer anyway?



posted on Sep, 17 2017 @ 03:17 AM
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a reply to: C0bzz

Life.



posted on Sep, 17 2017 @ 03:49 AM
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He said too much without saying anything



posted on Sep, 17 2017 @ 04:33 AM
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a reply to: clay2 baraka

Seemed a bit to obvious so i figured I'd go out on a wing


As far as people disappearing, it reminds me of a thread here on how to i.d real players. I enjoyed his content and conversation, maybe he can come back to the boards in another life



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