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By Mark McCandlish and Michael Schratt
Illustration by Mark McCandlish
Copyright September 2004
In 1979, a retired SR-71 pilot was flying a Lear jet north of what is commonly referred to as "Area 51". After breaking through a group of clouds, the pilot noticed a very strange looking aircraft just ahead and to his lower left position (he had been shadowing the craft for approximately 10 minutes). The aircraft measured approximately 65 feet in length. It was completely black in color, and had a "flattened football" or rounded diamond shape, and appeared slightly more elongated in the front half (see drawing by Mark McCandlish). The "X-15 like" cockpit was a fully enclosed blister that tapered back towards the aft end of the craft. There were two forward facing triangular windows on either side of a wedge shaped "splitter" pillar. The internally mounted engines were fed by two NACA air-intake ducts slightly aft and to either side of the cockpit. There were also two additional air-intakes on the lower surface of the aircraft. The craft featured what looked like trapezoidal shaped or "trap door" exhaust ports near the aft end. There were control surfaces on the leading and trailing edges. The most unique feature however, was a very unusual dorsal and ventral tail arrangement. The vertical stabilizer looked very similar in appearance to that of the old B-17 Flying Fortress, but with an identical stabilizer on the bottom. The lower ventral fin retracted sideways and up, to allow clearance for landing. This particular craft had afterburner capability.
Originally posted by zoso28
dan tana, i am curious, is this your name or are you just a big fan of bad american tv shows? answer carefully
Originally posted by ZindoDoone
Lockheed Martin and Gruman are one corp since '94. So its definatly a team effort. Very interesting design.