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Another "F-117 Companion" thread and a bit of history!

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posted on Jan, 3 2018 @ 06:58 AM
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a reply to: thebozeian

i believe he is still around, but not posting.

i have a sweet computer to show him if he does come back




posted on Jan, 3 2018 @ 07:00 AM
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I do realise I may be way off here, and I would welcome any pm from my very good friends (still got that photo, locked up nice and secure) but I'm intrigued by some of the clues in this thread.

- It's on the internet but the public doesn't know it's real

- nothing like the F-117, but adheres to the same stealth practices of the time.

- not triangular shaped, in fact 'not like any other aircraft I've seen'

- missing link between Tacit Blue and YF-23.

Is the Companion aircraft close to the original Testors F-19 or MiG 37?



posted on Jan, 3 2018 @ 07:02 AM
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a reply to: C0bzz

They dont have to talk to each other during the mission to work together. People are hung up on the 'finding/marking targets for the F-117' story.
This was never ist original mission and who knows if it ever happened. The Companion was not specifically built to compliment the F-117 but (probably) as a specialized enabler platform of some sorts. As SpeedFanatic argued, its core mission may well have been SEAD/DEAD and as we know, it later evolved into EW probably including Suter attack capabilities during the end of its operational lifespan.
During the Iraq Invasion in 2003, when Boomer refueled them, they played Companion to the F-117 by flying alongside them into Downtown Bagdad and minimizing problematic IADS threats popping up along the way. Especially during the first hour al-Dora decapitation strikes.
You could do this without ever communicating with the strike aircraft.
But of course the entire 'the F-117 cant communicate without breaking stealth' argument is overblown in itself. Depends entirely on circumstance and threat enviroment.



edit on 3-1-2018 by mightmight because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 3 2018 @ 07:03 AM
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a reply to: gariac

laser comms or just silent running


you have to remember how planned each mission was. and if they were targeting all the 117 had to do was get within the lasers targeting spot for their detectors to pick it up, then let the bombs do the rest.


but most likely just a well planned mission for both aircraft and ground observers for moving targets, and they could use other assets to take those out.

in Iraq v.1 they had set targets so it would be easy for them to fly blacked out



posted on Jan, 3 2018 @ 07:03 AM
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double post
edit on 3-1-2018 by penroc3 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 3 2018 @ 07:21 AM
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a reply to: BASSPLYR

Totally agree about "pointy planes" not necessarily indicating triangles, that was not what came to my mind when I first read that post years ago.

Per Waynos last post where he mentions the Testors F-19: a poster asked that to boomer in one of the posts just after his story and I believe that it gets ignored while he answers other questions. Not sure I'm in that camp, especially with the F-19 designation, but would be interesting.



posted on Jan, 3 2018 @ 07:39 AM
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a reply to: Badgermole42

The problem with the Testor F-18 thesis is a quote from Boomer is comment: www.abovetopsecret.com...

He specifically refers to a black and white drawing out of a technical order, whether or not it refers to the drawing of the VS-07 posted by SpeedFanatic in his opening post, its definitely not a reference to the Testor model.

Also keep in mind that the shape is supposed to follow the stealth characteristics of the time period (late 70s, early 80s). Stealth characteristics of the time really weren’t really about smoothy/rounded/curved shapes but the faceted approach they took with the F-117. If you look at the Testor model, especially the curved/round body/wing shapes it doesnt look anything like characteristic the the time period.

hyperscale.com...

But if you want to believe in the Testor theory there is this random comment over at the drive:


There was a group of us Air Force types from a squadron that flew funny looking planes. We went TDY to Tinker AFB to look at stuff and talk about things, back in 198x, and while walking through a mall (I don't know why we went to a mall, lunch maybe) and we saw a model of a F-19 in the display window of a hobby store. We all looked at each other with wide eyes and kept on walking without saying a word. We did go to a titty bar that night, if it makes up for the trip to the mall.

www.thedrive.com...

It may be that the real thing is some kind of blend between the VS-07 and the Testor model. More pointy wings (maybe even variable swept wings) but no 'Lockheed Tail'.
edit on 3-1-2018 by mightmight because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 3 2018 @ 08:05 AM
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Scott Lowther created the drawing for the Lockheed VS-07 (there's some more information in US Bomber Projects 19). Since it's paid content I can't post it here, but the claim is that the drawing was based off a desktop model and that it's a relatively new design (far too new to be in the timeframe we are talking about).

I can ask Scott where exactly the model was seen though?
edit on 3/1/18 by C0bzz because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 3 2018 @ 09:06 AM
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a reply to: C0bzz

I always thought that when certain posters stopped posting or commenting in a thread, members where getting too "warm" with there questions. I also thought the drawing of the "companion" was from a technical drawing that included a few hit and misses.



posted on Jan, 3 2018 @ 09:27 AM
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a reply to: Badgermole42

There is one comment left on The Drive(it is the one that mightmight posted few posts above) that refers to Testors F-19 model and there is one comment here on this forum that clearly says the same. I'll quote it now.


originally posted by: trueknowledge
The F117 program was actually 2 different aircraft. The F117 was only part of the program and it was what was revealed to the world. The second part is an aircraft with a twin engine, single pilot design that was flying in the mid 70s. It was more rounded shape and looked very close to mock ups of the F19. This is the aircraft that boomer135 is referring to. It does not look like the F117 at all, and it much more along the lines of the SR71 design with the engines being mounted internally. From what I understand it was not originally designed for ECM, but it would make sense to use it for this. The reason people can not talk about it is because it is still classified to this day and is still in use as far as I know.


Mid 70s design would match the timeline perfectly but the idea that F-117 program was two different aircraft really makes me think... That would mean that Companion is strictly related to Nighthawk which doesn't seem right. I may be wrong of course.
Good guess would be the idea that Companion was designed pre 1984(trueknowledge and EBJet posts matches perfectly). It was designed and waited few years to born. It could have the first flight as a "classified advanced technology demonstration prototype" in August 1983.
F-117s were tested at Groom around the same time so 1983 is good for a Companion to flew together with it.


edit on 3-1-2018 by SpeedFanatic because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 3 2018 @ 09:34 AM
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originally posted by: penroc3
a reply to: gariac

laser comms or just silent running


you have to remember how planned each mission was. and if they were targeting all the 117 had to do was get within the lasers targeting spot for their detectors to pick it up, then let the bombs do the rest.


but most likely just a well planned mission for both aircraft and ground observers for moving targets, and they could use other assets to take those out.

in Iraq v.1 they had set targets so it would be easy for them to fly blacked out


So Bosnia sorties were not pre-planned? The standard operating procedure for the F-117 was to fly a programmed route, and I mean programmed. They literally plugged in a hard drive with the route. The pilot had the choice to use the weapons or not at the specified target.

If the other plane is just some manned aircraft on the same mission, yeah fine. That just doesn't live up to the folklore of the companion. Of course there is no reason to believe this companion aircraft can elude SAM sites any better than the F-117, so I really don't see what would be accomplished. BTW I hope everyone knows these SAM sites don't radiate constantly. It isn't like the aircraft can just pick them off one by one.



posted on Jan, 3 2018 @ 09:57 AM
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originally posted by: SpeedFanatic
a reply to: Badgermole42

Mid 70s design would match the timeline perfectly but the idea that F-117 program was two different aircraft really makes me think... That would mean that Companion is strictly related to Nighthawk which doesn't seem right. I may be wrong of course.
Good guess would be the idea that Companion was designed pre 1984(trueknowledge and EBJet posts matches perfectly). It was designed and waited few years to born. It could have the first flight as a "classified advanced technology demonstration prototype" in August 1983.
F-117s were tested at Groom around the same time so 1983 is good for a Companion to flew together with it.


Sorry just thinking out loud?!
I always wondered if the companion was conceived as a nap of the earth type stealth SEAD craft with it's pointy description abit like a smaller B1 rather than being a high flyer, and its envisioned mission/design may have changed when Have Blue or the F117 design came along.

edit on 3-1-2018 by Kurokage because: (no reason given)

edit on 3-1-2018 by Kurokage because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 3 2018 @ 10:10 AM
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a reply to: gariac

Of course they don't, but a stealthy Wild Weasel would be a great platform to have in your pocket. One of the reasons that SAMs radiate so quickly is because of the WW birds. If you had something they were less likely to see that could hang around in the area, you'd be far more likely to catch a SAM radiating and be able to kill it, than with a less stealthy Weasel. You'd also be more likely to get them back in a heavily defended area.

The F-4 was a great Weasel platform, where the Viper is effective, but it's not as good as the Phantom was. The Air Force doesn't currently have a dedicated EW or Weasel platform anymore, like they did with the Ravens. That doesn't make sense, considering how effective they both have proven to be over the years, unless they have other things capable of doing it. And I don't buy the F-35, or F-22 can do it, any more than I buy that a single seat aircraft is the best option for the Weasel mission.



posted on Jan, 3 2018 @ 10:25 AM
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a reply to: gariac
If the other plane is just some manned aircraft on the same mission, yeah fine. That just doesn't live up to the folklore of the companion. Of course there is no reason to believe this companion aircraft can elude SAM sites any better than the F-117, so I really don't see what would be accomplished. BTW I hope everyone knows these SAM sites don't radiate constantly. It isn't like the aircraft can just pick them off one by one.

Of course not, but a low observable craft can do SEAD/DEAD much better than conventional Wild Weasel aircraft in an unpermissive environment.

Take a look at what SpeedFanatic posted in his opening post.
The USAF was facing Soviet IADS in Europe during the Cold War and the IAFs experiences in the Yom Kippur War in 1973 showed them how capable those soviet air defense systems can be. We know that the aftermath of 973 spwaned a wide array of defense Research Projects, one of which eventually lead to the F-117.
Yet none of those programs was directly aimed at handling the SAM threat. In fact, even after the 1973 wake up call, the US Wild Weasel fleet recieved only meager upgrades (they switched from F-105F to F-4s but didnt expand in size).

As SpeedFanatic wrote - on one hand the threat was taken seriously enough to spwan the F-117, while on the other they basically ignored the direct approach - taking out SAMs directly.
This is were the Companion comes in. A lightly armed (2-4 AGM-88 + AIM-9) low observable aircraft, capable of loitering over the Battlefield or accompanying strike packages, capable of performing true SEAD anywhere for the time needed to complete the mission.

Zaphod famously said the Companion was flying with the F-117 while the F-117 was still black. How would the Air Force get those two top secret craft to cooperate so quickly if they were designed independently? Think about the administrative hurdles and about how secretive the F-117 training was!
Maybe the Companion was already around and someone knew exactly what it could do and paired it up with the brand spanking new F-117s BECAUSE it turned out that the F-117s actually couldnt penetrate airspace defended by multiple SAM sites very well?

EDIT: What Zaphod wrote. Didnt see it.

edit on 3-1-2018 by mightmight because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 3 2018 @ 10:39 AM
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a reply to: SpeedFanaticd

The "classified advanced technology demonstration prototype" from 1983 refers to Senior Ice IMO. Its likley Northrop flew an B-2 prototype between getting the contract in 81 and the B2s first flight in 89... also the name, i mean come on:
Advanced Technology Bomber - Advanced Technology Demonstration Prototype

Remember LRS-B and NGLRS-D?



posted on Jan, 3 2018 @ 11:33 AM
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a reply to: gariac

i was just using GW 1 as an example. All mission are usually planned out to the T.

and why does it have to live up to some lofty idea of what it is? people say the B-2 is anti gravity and it is not. people say the F35 is # and it is a very good aircraft. Rumors dont equal truth.



posted on Jan, 3 2018 @ 01:09 PM
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a reply to: mightmight

That have a sense and Frank T. Birk was closly related to Northrop around that time. Seems good for initial B-2 development program.



posted on Jan, 3 2018 @ 01:48 PM
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a reply to: mightmight


Maybe the Companion was already around and someone knew exactly what it could do and paired it up with the brand spanking new F-117s BECAUSE it turned out that the F-117s actually couldnt penetrate airspace defended by multiple SAM sites very well? 


You fight like you train. So this companion airframe had to be around for some time. The US entered late in the war, with the F-117 no longer a secret. They were at Holloman at the time. So did the have the companion at Holloman and somehow keep it a secret? Or did the fleet go back to Tonopah for secret training?

Yet the only F-117 loss was due to mission planning, not detection. No real life air defense problem.



posted on Jan, 3 2018 @ 02:04 PM
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a reply to: gariac

You fight like you train, and they were training to go up against state of the art Soviet defenses. You don't plan on building a plane that has a reduced RCS, and pray that it works against everything the other side has. That would be like building a B-52, to penetrate the Soviet Union, and no escort aircraft, or defensive systems. The F-117 may have been designed to operate on a programmed flight path, but that doesn't mean that RCS reduction was the only thing they did to help it perform the mission.

Kosovo was bad planning against an old defense system, and a damn good battery commander. We don't know what would have happened if they had gone up against top line Russian systems, or what they would have used to help it get through them. They would have used mapping to avoid known systems, but a pop up system they didn't have mapped could have ended their day if it got lucky.
edit on 1/3/2018 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 3 2018 @ 04:04 PM
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originally posted by: gariac
a reply to: mightmight


Maybe the Companion was already around and someone knew exactly what it could do and paired it up with the brand spanking new F-117s BECAUSE it turned out that the F-117s actually couldnt penetrate airspace defended by multiple SAM sites very well? 


You fight like you train. So this companion airframe had to be around for some time. The US entered late in the war, with the F-117 no longer a secret. They were at Holloman at the time. So did the have the companion at Holloman and somehow keep it a secret? Or did the fleet go back to Tonopah for secret training?

Yet the only F-117 loss was due to mission planning, not detection. No real life air defense problem.


What war are you refering to, Allied Force? I dont think the Companion was deployed to Italy. Aviano was a security nightmare, no way to hide the Companion stationed there.
www.youtube.com...

Of course they could have stationed them somewhere else, but i'd like to think 1999 was about the time they were uprgrading the fleet for the Sparkvark mission. The EF-111A retired in 1998, entirely possible the Companion missed the Kosovo War entirely because of that.

As for regular basing, I dont think they were ever at Holloman. Too much going on there, especially with the German Tornado training program hosted at the base. They most likley were stationed at Tonopah when the F-117 was still black. Most likley they left when the F-117 were relocated to Holloman in 93. Maybe to Edwards, maybe to Groom.
Maybe somewhere else. Its not like there is a shortage of covert aircraft hangars in the American southwest. Maybe the rumors about permanent UK basing are true too, US black Projects routinely visit certain RAF bases anyway.
At this point in time most are probably retired like the F-117 at Tonopah or Groom.







 
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