I've been reading everyone's replies thus far and thought I'd add the results of some of my research. I seriously doubt that this is an F-15 for a
variety of reasons.
For starters, from what I've found the minimum runway distance for the standard F-15 is 7,500 feet.
The link is wikipedia talking about the F-15_STOL but it does mention the 7,500 feet runway distance.
landing on just 1,650 ft (500 m) of runway compared to 7,500 ft (2,300 m) for the standard F-15
If these were F-15's they would probably be the ones out of Elmendorf which, according to
, has a runway length of 10,000 feet for Runway #1 and
7,505 feet for runway #2.
We can compare this typical minimum runway distance for the F-15 to "Sullivan Airstrip" in google earth, which is where these aircraft are
Minimum runway distance for a standard F-15: 7,500 Feet
Runway distance of "Sullivan Airstrip": approx. 7,500 Feet
BUT HOLD THE PHONE!
Here's how I came to this figure..
I believe the larger, wider, landing strip of the three at this site is the primary. Google earth also shows about 5 planes parked perpendicular to
and right next to this wider strip so I'm assuming this is the one being used for these aircraft. I also excluded the narrower taxiway at the back
end of the main strip (Northeast of the main strip).
This tells us that the airstrip is capable of safely recovering and launching F-15's, even if only barely, but it also tells us that the dimensions
in google earth must be pretty accurate. The dimensions in google earth are probably never going to be 100% but in order for the length of this
airstrip to be measured so precisely tells us that the dimensions of the aircraft I provided must ALSO be very close.
If the measured distances in google earth were to be in error, it would mean there would be a consistent margin of error per unit measured for that
As far as the airstrip and the aircraft parked there, if the sizes of the images were too small by even an inch per foot the length of the runway
would be nowhere near the exact 7,500 foot figure. It would actually measure at 6,875 feet or so. It would be off by 625 feet!
I think it's safe to say the main airstrip is 7,500 feet long. But this presents a size discrepancy with these aircraft when compared to the
Dimensions of the aircraft parked at this airstrip:
Dimensions of the standard F-15:
There is no way that the margin of error in google earth is off by so much that it would explain this huge size discrepancy. For starters, the length
given in google earth would have to be off by 26'-9". Then the wingspan given in google earth would have to be off by 14'-10".
I explained how I came to these dimensions earlier. I drew a 100' line in google earth. I then dropped an image of the aircraft and the 100' line
as a raster image in Autocad and scaled the photo to full (100%) scale in Autocad. To do this, you simply draw a 100' line in Autocad and make sure
when you scale the raster image so the two lines are identical. Doing this allows you to accurately determine sizes of other things within the image.
It's something I've done for work-related stuff a few times. It always works and is always accurate.
If the dimensions I provided are pretty accurate, which I believe they are, then a real side-by-side comparison with an F-15 would look more like
How would it even be possible that the airstrip can be measured so accurately in google earth at 7,500 feet but an F-15 parked there would be 26'-9"
I think we are seeing UAV's that are way too small to be F-15's or any other aircraft in the inventory. There just isn't anything we know of that
is this small with these characteristics.