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Does the YF-24 really exist?

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posted on Apr, 9 2006 @ 04:28 AM
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After all the speculation and arguments about various black projects that we have seen on here, could it be true that a YF-24 aircraft really exists?

A tantalising clue for it to be real comes in the form of the online biography of Colonel Joseph A. Lanni, Commander, 412th Test Wing, Air Force Flight Test Center, Edwards Air Force Base.

The link is here

If you scroll down the page the section on flight information lists all the aircraft he has flown during his career, what’s that last one again? It seems remarkably careless of someone to list the YF-24 there. Is that misinformation or a genuine mistake? Better still might it be a deliberate clue?

The existence of a secret black YF-24 might also explain another mystery, namely, why was the JSF named the F-35? Of course the easy and obvious explanation is that they just changed the X of the X-35 demonstrator to an F, but why? Why is such an out of sequence designation applied to the JSF and why did it receive an X number in the first place?

My Theory on this particular point;

I reckon that the JSF prototypes, according to historical precedent, should have been given YF designations, as with the YF-16/17 and YF 22/23. Given the furore over the ‘missing’ F-19 designation the sudden appearance of a Boeing YF-25 and Lockheed YF-26 (as the two JSF contenders) would have led to an immense amount of curiosity as to why ‘F-24’ had been skipped. Even if the X-35 designation was the correct one, the redesignation of the operational version as the in sequence F-25A would have led to the same questions, therefore, leaving the number out of sequence gives them the ‘easy’ explanation given earlier and avoids these questions.

The question then remains ‘what is or was the YF-24?’

On the one hand, it may not necessarily be a fighter, after all, the F-117 is a pure bomber and nothing more. The YF-24 might possibly even be a demonstrator, after all, the official DoD designations for the Tacit Blue and Bird of Prey are still unknown, so maybe the YF-24 was the Bird of Prey or somesuch?

Col Lanni’s particular field of expertise however is air defence so this suggests that the YF-24 could indeed be an air defence fighter. Might the YF-24 be an unseen full size fighter based on the X-36 perhaps? Or maybe the NASA/USAF SHARC wind tunnel model shows us what the ‘real’ YF-24 looks like?

Interestingly, when I first found this site it also listed that Col Lanni had made the first flight of two classified secret aircraft, one being the YF-24 (which presumably rules out the Bird of Prey as a candidate as Lanni was not the first to fly it) and the other being ther YF-113G. The designations YF-113A through to E were applied to various types of MiG, from the MiG 17 to the MiG 23 for testing in the US, but YF-113G is (or was) referred to specifically as a 'classified prototype'. I have no explanation for this aberration or why it seems to have been removed. More intruigingly, why the YF-113G was removed but reference to the YF-24 was not?

What became of the YF-24?

Operationally, a case can be made for a top secret fleet of 60 or so bombers (ie the F-117) but it is difficult to see what possible use a secret fleet of 60 or so air defence fighters might be, and any reasonably sized air defence force could not be kept absolutely secret for any length of time so it is likely therefore that the YF-24 was only built in small numbers, maybe only a single aircraft that is now buried in the desert with all the other black prototypes? I hope that is not the case as I am reminded of the story where it was decided to declassify the XST and place it in a museum after digging it up and restoring it, however nobody could remember where it was and the excavation team had to give up when they hit the tail fins of the still classified Senior Prom!

If that is the scenario we may never get to see or hear about this YF-24 and that would be a great shame.




posted on Apr, 9 2006 @ 04:47 AM
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The only thing I've been able to find so far is that it was a classified prototype from the late 90s. I'll keep digging around and see if I can find anything else about it. It apparently DOES exist, because I've seen another place that talks about a book that was written by a test pilot who talked about flying it, and it was NOT a typo.

I'll keep digging though and see what I can find.



posted on Apr, 9 2006 @ 04:52 AM
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Could this be the large triangle craft as sighted or possibly a YF-23 design derrivative fighter bomber? I cant wait to see more pic,s that become unclassified.



posted on Apr, 9 2006 @ 12:28 PM
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Waynos, I believe it's a typo, I don't know because when I did research into the designations "YF-24 and YF-25" absolutely NOTHING came up, and I mean I went through tens of dozens of search pages. And even asked for information here on ATS.

The farthest I got was that the YF-25 was the fake designation for the X-02 in Ace Combat 4. The X-02 is a model airplane nothing more.

Shattered OUT...



posted on Apr, 9 2006 @ 01:05 PM
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Closest I have gotten to a YF-24 designation was the FB-23 and SHARC.

There IS a rumour of a delta-winged YF-23 somewhere, so I was thinking, maybe that is the YF-24.



posted on Apr, 9 2006 @ 04:48 PM
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I believe that the YF-24 reference in the link posted was an honest mistake--a typo, but I would like more info on anything you can find about the YF-24 or the YF-113G.



posted on Apr, 10 2006 @ 02:57 AM
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After a quick yahoo search (I frown upon you google users
)

www.designation-systems.net...

seems quite interesting stuff there and might explain quite a bit...



posted on Apr, 10 2006 @ 06:52 AM
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Nice find GZ, thanks


I too have wondered how likely it was that the YF-24 reference was just a typo but that site too seems quite specific abgout it.

Further food for thought, Col Lanni is attributed with making the first flights of two 'black' aircraft, a search through all the details of currently known aircraft like the Tacit Blue, Have Blue, F-117 etc etc reveals he wasn't the debut pilot for any of them. This at least appears to confirm that there are at least two genuine types of aircraft flying that we know nothing about yet. I know we are all pretty sure such aircraft are out there but this is the closest I have come to an official admission of such a thing.



posted on Apr, 10 2006 @ 11:02 AM
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This entire thread mystifies me. It is as if you have completely forgotten all of the "black aircraft" posts I have made on ATS over the past year.

In response to Wanos' post, the F-35 designation for the operational JSF based on the X-35 comes from the fact that they simply changed the X to F. The JSF contenders should have had YF designators, but received X designators through some arcane bureaucratic process involving funding for the project. Similarly, the X-45C UCAV might have become the A-45 according to program officials I have talked to. The TACIT BLUE was logged by USAF pilots as YF-117D according to one of the test pilots who flew it. I have never seen anything to indicate that Joe Lanni flew the YF-113G and I have no reason to believe that such information was removed from his USAF biography. The YF-113G has, as far as I can tell, only appeared in Dennis Sager's biography. Lanni was unable to discuss any specific information about the YF-24.

Below, please see some of my original posts on this subject:

Posted to ATS on 6-9-2005 (Post No. 1662671)
Here is a list of real "black" aircraft.

There have been at least 7 to 11 classified manned aircraft flown at Groom Lake since the mid 1980s that have yet to be unveiled. These are the ones we need to find out about, not to mention all of the unmanned aircraft. This doesn't include the modified aircraft, foreign aircraft, or ordinary platforms (C-130, F-16, etc) carrying experimental avionics.

In 1985, Frank Birk made the first flight of a "classified technology demonstrator." He won the Bobby Bond Memorial Aviator Award for his work on this project.

Since 1982, Dan Vanderhorst has flown at least seven classified aircraft, described as mostly "one of a kind demonstrators." One was TACIT BLUE. Another had internal weapons bays, suggesting stealth characteristics (Vanderhorst "holds the altitude record in this aircraft" according to his unclassified biography).

During the last part of a 20-year Air Force career, Doug Benjamin flew four classified aircraft. One of these was Bird of Prey (declassified a few years ago).

In the early to mid 1990s, Dennis Sager commanded the classified flight test squadron at Groom and became the first Air Force pilot to fly the YF-113G, a "classified protoype" that he helped shepard from development to first flight.

During the late 1990s, Joe Lanni flew first flights of two classified prototypes, including the YF-24. (That is not a typo)


Posted to ATS on 7-9-2005 (Post No. 16652420)
The YF-113G was most emphatically NOT a MiG-23. That was erroneously reported by Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine (and subsequently repeated elsewhere). The confusion comes from the fact that other YF-113 designations (i.e. YF-113A, YF-113B, YF-113C, and YF-113E) have been used for various models of MiG-17 and MiG-23 aircraft.

The YF-113G was a "classified prototype." Sager's bio says that he was "handpicked as commander of a classified flight test squadron" where he was "the first Air Force pilot to fly the YF-113G, a classified prototype," that he "led from design to first flight."

That is obviously not a description of a foreign aircraft type. Also, I have met "Bones" Sager. He was a Red Hat and he did fly MiGs. This just didn't happen to be one of them. The YF-1XX designations have been used for classified test aircraft at Groom Lake since the late 1960s. that is how we ended up with the F-117A. The original five airplanes flew under the designation YF-117A. Pilots flying these "black" test aircraft (MiGs, stealth demonstrators, etc.) used the callsign "BANDIT" (which is also how F-117A pilots ended up with "Bandit numbers").



posted on Apr, 10 2006 @ 11:20 AM
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This entire thread mystifies me. It is as if you have completely forgotten all of the "black aircraft" posts I have made on ATS over the past year.


Shadowhawk, my apologies. Somehow I seem to have missed, or forgotten those past posts. When I came to put this up I did do a search for 'Lanni' and 'YF-24' but drew a blank and so went ahead with it.




F-35 designation for the operational JSF based on the X-35 comes from the fact that they simply changed the X to F.


Yes, I addressed that, my questioning of this is based on the apparent fact that there was no need to do so, unless it was maybe to hide the fact that the YF-24 designation was in use, after all everyone would be expecting the 'next fighter' to be the F-24, by it being the F-35 the question is avoided because of the 'X' designation that was used, that they simply changed the X to an F is undeniably true, but I am wondering about the reason this was done (nothing like it was ever done in the past).




In the early to mid 1990s, Dennis Sager commanded the classified flight test squadron at Groom and became the first Air Force pilot to fly the YF-113G, a "classified protoype" that he helped shepard from development to first flight.


Ah yes. I think I managed to confuse mysef here. You are of course absolutely correct.



posted on Apr, 11 2006 @ 07:01 AM
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It just might! A while back I did some digging into the old CSIRS story. While we didn't learn too much, it seems that the F-24 or YF-24 might be tied to a Top Secret reconnassance and strike aircraft. We think it could even be used to provide air cover for secret, CIA Special Operations!

If that is true, I think the plane's mission might be that of Covert Reconnassance and strike!

Tim



posted on May, 27 2006 @ 06:23 AM
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Apparently Joe Lanni has told Aircraft Illustrated that his official biography will be changed to remove the reference to the YF-24. In the same article a black project source states that YF-24 was a radio callsign for the Su-27 Flanker. This doesnt make sense thought to me, I didnt think they used a planes name as a callsign and why wouldnt wi be given a YF-11? designation like other russian jets?



posted on May, 27 2006 @ 08:36 AM
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Yes, that does appear to be a completely made up, 'convenient' explanation for the YF-24 designation.

The IAI Kfir was designated F-21A, never YF-21, and as you say, Russian types are allocated numbers in the century series.



posted on May, 27 2006 @ 10:30 AM
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Darn it all Waynos!!! Durn you to heck!!




You have voted waynos for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have one more vote left for this month.



Man, why did you have to go and make a post so interesting that I needed to go and do that to a Vulcan enthusiast?

Man...



posted on May, 27 2006 @ 11:44 AM
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Is there any pic for this YF-24? I'm very curious to see how it looks like...



posted on May, 27 2006 @ 12:22 PM
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Telos, you should actually read a thread before posting on it!

This whole thread is discussing whether the YF-24 exists at all, how can anyone have a photo of what could quite realistically (though I dont believe it to) be a typo!



posted on May, 27 2006 @ 12:39 PM
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Originally posted by Shadowhawk
This entire thread mystifies me. It is as if you have completely forgotten all of the "black aircraft" posts I have made on ATS over the past year.


Don't act so offended. These topics NEED to be brought up every now and then. You never know when a new reader is going to look at the board that may have some new information.



Originally posted by ShadowhawkDuring the late 1990s, Joe Lanni flew first flights of two classified prototypes, including the YF-24. (That is not a typo)


Is this time period for first flight of the YF-24 more of an assumption, or an educated guess? According to COL Lanni's bio he was an experimental test pilot from '89 to '92 (first known flights of YF-22 and YF-23 were in 1990). He commanded the classified test squadron from mid '95 to mid '97. My guess is that he probably didn't get any first flights while he was the commander of the unit - this would be atypical. The other question is what does a "classified" flight test squadron consist of? (in the broadest sense of course) Is it strictly classified prototype stealth aircraft? Is it classified, highly modified conventional aircraft? Is it likely that there are highly classified targeting or sensor systems that are being tested? What about UAV's? My guess is that this classified flight test squadron probably has a varied mix of all of the above - and if he was commander, he probably didn't get much time to fly, much less have first flights in classified stealth prototypes. After looking at COL Lanni's bio, my guess is that the YF-24 probably flew in the early 90's rather than the mid or late 90's.



posted on May, 27 2006 @ 02:36 PM
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Originally posted by gfad
Telos, you should actually read a thread before posting on it!

This whole thread is discussing whether the YF-24 exists at all, how can anyone have a photo of what could quite realistically (though I dont believe it to) be a typo!


Thnx for the suggestion... I thought it was like Aurora. By pic I meant even a artwork as it is for Aurora (helps to create an idea
)

[edit on 27-5-2006 by Telos]



posted on May, 27 2006 @ 08:56 PM
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A classified flight test squadron is a unit that test flies Black projects. Like the F-117 and B-2 when they were first undergoing testing. Anything that they don't want to release, gets flight tested by a classified flight test squadron, usually somewhere out in the desert (Not necessarily Area 51), or somewhere they can fly around and there aren't many people to notice.



posted on May, 27 2006 @ 10:18 PM
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Originally posted by Zaphod58
A classified flight test squadron is a unit that test flies Black projects. Like the F-117 and B-2 when they were first undergoing testing. Anything that they don't want to release, gets flight tested by a classified flight test squadron, usually somewhere out in the desert (Not necessarily Area 51), or somewhere they can fly around and there aren't many people to notice.


"Black Projects" is a very broad term that can cover anything from unique, single copy proof of concept prototypes to individual new aircraft systems (navigation, sensor, weapons, stealth applications, etc...). What about aircraft from foreign governments? Do they go to the "Classified Flight Test Squadron", or somewhere else?

The thing about COL Lanni's bio that strikes me as odd is the "first flights" claim. Both the YF-22 and YF-23 were flown by Lockheed and Northrop test pilots (Dave Ferguson and Paul Metz respectively) before any Air Force pilots got to fly them. Even the B-2 had a Lockheed test pilot (Bruce Hinds) at the controls while COL Couch sat Co-pilot. Fred Knox (Boeing Chief Test Pilot) had the first flight in the X-32 and Tom Morgenfeld (Lockheed) had it in the X-35. An Air Force pilot having the "first flight" in any aircraft just doesn't seem to be consistant with what has been seen in recent history.




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