Originally posted by firepilot
Looks like a target range for Red Flag Alaska exercises. F-15s obviously can not operate from a tundra airstrip that has no infrastructure, nor do
you see evidence on the surface of any aircraft movement.
The dimensions of the aircraft aren't even close to being the size of an F-15 anyway. F-15's from Elmendorf land and take off from Eielson all the
time. The military wouldn't operate F-15's from such a remote location anyway while they have the manpower and infrastructure in place to support
just that kind of mission at Elmendorf and, occasionally, Eielson. They don't have to keep the aircraft secret either. Everyone knows about it.
The F-15's already have a permanent facility they operate from in Elmendorf AFB.
Besides, The dimensions of an F-15 are completely different than the dimensions of these aircraft..
Length........63 feet, 9.5 inches
Wingpsan...42 feet, 9.5 inches
Length....... 50 feet, 6 inches (a couple inches larger for the C variant)
Wingspan...35 feet for A and B variants
43 feet for C variant (29.83 feet folded)
Wingpsan...44 feet, 6 inches
Dimensions of the aircraft at this remote landing strip (give or take about a foot):
These jets aren't close to being the F-15, F-22, or even the F-35 given the dimensions. And apart from the dimensions, these couldn't be F-15's
anyway because of the geometry of the back end in particular. F-15's have vertical stabilizers that are near vertical (if not perfectly). The
aircraft parked along this landing strip DO have 2 vertical stabilizers but they are canted at an upwards angle much like the F-35's. Except the
F-35 is over 13 feet longer than these aircraft.
Red Flag training exercises being hosted by Eielson (as they now are) involve military aircraft temporarily stationed AT EIELSON. There is a reason
for that. Let's say the Navy wants to fly F-18's for a specific Red Flag exercise being hosted by Eielson AFB. They're going to send all their
support hardware, all their maintenance personnel, all their tools, etc... TO EIELSON for the specific purpose of flying sorties out of that
They're not going to fly their jets to a remote airstrip in the middle of nowhere where they can't maintain their aircraft, While at the same time
taking the risk of damage to their aircraft by flying sorties to and from a remote location with a landing strip made up of grass and dirt. And while
you can't completely eliminate the possibility that such a facility might be used occasionally for training purposes in particular, it doesn't make
a whole lot of sense to spend this kind of money to build an elaborate, remote landing strip while we already have the facilities and infrastructure
to host the Red Flag exercises..
NO, this looks to me like this particular facility was constructed for a very specific mission involving a very specific type of aircraft. They
didn't want to gain attention to this mission and thats why they needed a remote location to operate from. These aircraft never have to land at any
other military facility if they don't absolutely have to and this was the perfect location to operate such a facility from and support such a
secretive mission. This is a remote airstrip built and designed for a very specific purpose that doesn't necessarily involve training missions of
any kind. Other bases and facilities in the area are designed for hosting training exercises. This one is definately not.
I'm still at a loss for what these aircraft really are. The dimensions don't match up even close to anything I've seen yet. And that makes them
much more interesting.