Top 5 US Recon planes of all time

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posted on Nov, 26 2005 @ 02:37 PM
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Aurora: The most top secret US spyplane for the last 20ish years. was seen by an ex ROC member who was working on an oil rig in 1989.

SR-71: Was intended to be an Interceptor but was used for recon roles. Roumours say the US are bringing them back becouse of problems with the Aurora.

U-2: Designed by civilians for CIA use back in the 1950s. Still flying now since the cold war. One was once shot down over russia.

RA-5 Vigilante: Turned out rubbish as a bomber but came useful as a recon plane in the vietnam war.

RB-57: Based on the British BAC Canberra, another cold war plane similar to the U-2. Also used in vietnam. I believe they still use one today




posted on Jan, 8 2006 @ 10:53 AM
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Whats the diffrerences with the YF-12, A-12, and the SR-71?. I know the
YF-12 wasto be an Interceptor, the SR-71 a Spyplane but im sure they are slightly different in sizes.

I dont mind the U-2 being replaced much by this Global Hawk becouse those U-2 missions were too dangerous.

Wonder what the use is of this new RB-57, Suppose it will do te same job as the U-2.



posted on Jan, 8 2006 @ 11:34 AM
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Originally posted by Browno
Whats the diffrerences with the YF-12, A-12, and the SR-71?. I know the
YF-12 wasto be an Interceptor, the SR-71 a Spyplane but im sure they are slightly different in sizes.

I dont mind the U-2 being replaced much by this Global Hawk becouse those U-2 missions were too dangerous.

Wonder what the use is of this new RB-57, Suppose it will do te same job as the U-2.



The RB-57F is not a new aircraft. Only 2 are still left flying with NASA.

A-12, Single seat CIA Spyplane
Length 102' 3" , wing span 55' 7" Height 18' 6"

YF-12, 2 Seat interceptor
Length 101' 8" same wing span height 18' 6"

SR-71, 2 Seat USAF Recon
Length 107' 5" same wing span. height 18' 6"

Length is with Pitot tube - seen slight different lengths and heights quoted( only by a couple of inches)

The A-12 Flew higher and faster than the YF-12 and the SR-71 and had better cameras but the SR-71 had a beter Elint package.
The SR-71 was the heaveist of the 3 while the A-12 had the longer range.( just by 200 miles)






posted on Jan, 9 2006 @ 12:01 AM
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The B-47 (nuclear bomber): Saw a show about Soviet Cold War bombers, they where talking about the Bison and how it turned out to be a ploy. They had a B-47 pilot on there saying his bomber was fitted with cameras and ordered to fly over the Soviet Union to gather intel on the Bison. Well shortly after flying over his goal, some Migs caught up to him and started shooting. Well he dropped down a few hundred feet where he gathered a little more air-speed, and pulled ahead of the Migs at 600mph.

[edit on 9-1-2006 by NWguy83]



posted on Jan, 9 2006 @ 12:27 AM
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You'd have to include the Lockheed F-4/F-5 of WW2.

The recon versions of the P-38 made a huge contribition to the war, I've seen once source that claims the F-4 and F-5 brought back 80-90% of all US recon photography from the period.

The P-38's combination of high speed and long range made it nearly perfect for the job. Interestingly, it was conceived by the same Kelly Johnson that created the U-2 and A-12/SR-71.



posted on Jan, 9 2006 @ 10:04 AM
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You'd also probrably wish to include any strike/fighter type aircraft that can carry a reconnasance pod. I wouldn't include the Aurora myself, as too little is known about it to really know if it's strictly test-bed, operational, or even capable of recon. (no range=no recon)


The Blackbird has definately got to top the list, although that's only if you're listing the best at any cost. They were not cheap to operate.

So I'd say:
Blackbirds
U-2/TR-1
Global Hawk
Predator
Recon pod equipped strike aircraft.

Frankly, I think maybe I ought to find a place to stuff some other aircraft into the list, like RC-3s and the like.



posted on Jan, 9 2006 @ 11:53 AM
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I think that this needs to be changed to Top 5 US Photo-Recon planes of all time. Otherwise you would have to list the RC-135 and Air Force One.



posted on Jan, 9 2006 @ 12:43 PM
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The lists seems good... I would just like to take away the Aurora away... There are no "concrete" evidence of it... only peoples who think that they have seen it...



posted on Jan, 9 2006 @ 02:17 PM
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This is too interesting a topic to restrict the field to only US aircraft, so I prefer to consider which are the best post-WW2 reconnaissance aircraft.

IMHO to even be considered for such an accolade, a reconnaissance aircraft should first meet a number of fairly strict criteria. Firstly, it should have been designed specifically for reconnaissance duties. Secondly, it should have served on the front line for 30+ years and participated in numerous actual operations. Finally, when it entered service it should have had sufficient performance to mark it out as unusual and possibly even unique. In the fairly narrow field of reconnaissance aircraft since WW2, I would only have 5 aircraft on my list, the Lockheed U-2, the Lockheed SR-71, the MiG-25 Foxbat, the McDonnell Douglas RF-4 Phantom and lastly the English Electric Canberra PR-9.

Hypersoar
www.spyflight.co.uk



posted on Jan, 10 2006 @ 05:43 AM
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Originally posted by JIMC5499
I think that this needs to be changed to Top 5 US Photo-Recon planes of all time. Otherwise you would have to list the RC-135 and Air Force One.


Air Force 1 is NOT a reconnassiance aircraft, it is the US President's plane. Check your facts!

Tim



posted on Jan, 10 2006 @ 06:11 AM
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The thread sais Top 5 spy planes, so here goes:

A-12/SR-71 Blackbird: Probably the most formitable spy plane ever build. The Blackbird was concived for the CIA to beat the Russian air defenses. It's the Only Spy plane I know of that has never been intercepted.

U-2: By far, one of the most enduring symbols of US airborne intelligence.

RC-135 : Built in three principle versions (RC-135S Cobra Ball, RC-135U Combat Sent, and the RC-135V/W Rivit Joint.) The RC-135's are one of the best SIGINT aircraft in the world.

RF-4C Phantom: The Reconnassance version of the Phantom was one of the best Tactical spyplanes ever.

Global Hawk

Tim



posted on Jan, 10 2006 @ 07:24 AM
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Originally posted by ghost
Air Force 1 is NOT a reconnassiance aircraft, it is the US President's plane. Check your facts!

Tim


My facts are dead on. Air Force One is equipped to record and analyze both communications and radar transmissions. You can guarentee that every time it flies into a foreign country it is gathering intellegence.



posted on Jan, 10 2006 @ 10:09 AM
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Yes, but it only does so to protect the president. It is not a plane used in warfare, and should therefore not be mentioned in this list. That is my opinion...



posted on Jan, 10 2006 @ 10:55 AM
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Originally posted by JIMC5499

My facts are dead on. Air Force One is equipped to record and analyze both communications and radar transmissions. You can guarentee that every time it flies into a foreign country it is gathering intellegence.


Do you have a source to back up this amazing claim?


I just checked FAS.ORG. The website mentions that Air Force 1 has Advanced Communication Equipment on board. It even talks about accomidation for guests. I see NOTHING suggesting that any of it is used to spy. Here's the website:
Air Force One

Tim



posted on Jan, 10 2006 @ 11:55 AM
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Originally posted by ghost

Do you have a source to back up this amazing claim?


I just checked FAS.ORG. The website mentions that Air Force 1 has Advanced Communication Equipment on board. It even talks about accomidation for guests. I see NOTHING suggesting that any of it is used to spy. Here's the website:
Air Force One

Tim


Common sense would indeed point towards the US using AF1 as a means of gathering intelligence on any country it was passing through - it could go where no aircraft of the USAF could go without raising a ruckus, so why waste the opportunity?


To me, using Air Force one to conduct intelligence gathering operations is far, far more feasible than even the existence of the hypersonic Aurora project/aircraft.


[edit on 10-1-2006 by kilcoo316]



posted on Jan, 10 2006 @ 12:26 PM
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Originally posted by ghost

Originally posted by JIMC5499

My facts are dead on. Air Force One is equipped to record and analyze both communications and radar transmissions. You can guarentee that every time it flies into a foreign country it is gathering intellegence.


Do you have a source to back up this amazing claim?


I just checked FAS.ORG. The website mentions that Air Force 1 has Advanced Communication Equipment on board. It even talks about accomidation for guests. I see NOTHING suggesting that any of it is used to spy. Here's the website:
Air Force One

Tim


All I have is what was told to me by some Boeing employees over lunch when I was installing some galleys in 747's for United Airlines out in Everett Washington. They were building the current AF1 at the time and they took me down to the hangar to check it out.



posted on Jan, 10 2006 @ 12:52 PM
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Originally posted by kilcoo316
Common sense would indeed point towards the US using AF1 as a means of gathering intelligence on any country it was passing through - it could go where no aircraft of the USAF could go without raising a ruckus, so why waste the opportunity?

[edit on 10-1-2006 by kilcoo316]


Clearance! That's the big one. Not everyone has clearance for intelligence info who travels with the president. Are you aware that foreign officials have flown on Air Force One with the President?

Now, I could see a covert Spy Plane traveling along with Air Force 1. You do know that Air Force one never travles alone. There are other aircraft that fly with it: Escort fighters, ect. In fact an E-4 always trails Air Force One. There might be intelligence aircraft flying with Air Force 1, but AF1 is not a spy plane!

Tim

[edit on 10-1-2006 by ghost]



posted on Jan, 10 2006 @ 02:40 PM
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Originally posted by ghost
Clearance! That's the big one. Not everyone has clearance for intelligence info who travels with the president. Are you aware that foreign officials have flown on Air Force One with the President?

[edit on 10-1-2006 by ghost]


Let's see AF1 has the capability of acting as an airborne command post during a nuclear war. AF1 has advanced communications equipment and I am going to assume that they carry the Crypto material to take advantage of it. AF1 is equipped with a classified missile countermeasures system.
There are classified compartments on board AF1. A 747 is a very big aircraft I don't consider a few locked rooms as being out of the question. I'll throw another one at you during the Cold War signal analyzers and recorders were common on airliners making international flights. The recorder tracked the aircraft's position and any signals on certain frequencies that might be present.



posted on Jan, 10 2006 @ 08:11 PM
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I didn't think that AF1 would be used in the event of a nuclear war...wouldn't they use the E-4B "Kneecap"? That's less susecptible to EMR and the effects of a nuclear blast.



posted on Jan, 10 2006 @ 10:21 PM
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Originally posted by BlackThorn311
I didn't think that AF1 would be used in the event of a nuclear war...wouldn't they use the E-4B "Kneecap"? That's less susecptible to EMR and the effects of a nuclear blast.


If they could get the President to it in time they would use the NEACAP aircraft, but in the event that they couldn't AF1 is equipped to do the job.






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