It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

‘Black’ Bomber Underway? New hangar at Groom

page: 2
4
<< 1    3 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 03:33 PM
link   
reply to post by RichardPrice
 


Next to Edwards is Dryden Base with a much bigger runway.

According to the scale on Google maps, it's only about 2 miles long, that's a 10,000 foot runway, nowhere near the size of Groom.

Unless I am not reading this right?




posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 04:37 PM
link   
reply to post by minkey53
 


If you include the dry lake bed runway there - you're looking at a 39,000 ft runway or somewhere north of 7 miles.



posted on Jan, 19 2010 @ 11:15 AM
link   
The longest runway at Edwards Air Force Base is an unpaved strip marked on the dry lakebed. Runway 17/35 has a length of 7.5 miles and was used for some of the early space shuttle landings.

The Groom Lake facility has two active paved runways and one that is now closed, as well as two dry lakebed runways.

The closed runway was originally built for the OXCART program in 1960. This is the one that people frequently mistake for “the world’s longest runway.” According to Area 51 Standard Operating Procedures, Landing Area Rules, dated 1 December 1968, runway 14/32 was 8,625 feet long with a 6,000-foot asphalt extension to a concrete turnaround pad followed by another 5,000 feet of asphalt. The asphalt overrun was not lighted, and therefore not considered "remaining runway" during hours of darkness. During daylight hours, aircraft on runway 14 could be cleared for a takeoff roll to the southeast starting from the mid-lake turnaround pad. If you want to count the additional section as active runway, it only bumps the total length up to 14,625 feet.

The southern extension on the old runway 14/32 (later 14R/32L) added about 5,000 feet just below the turnoff to the South Trim Pad. The extension was necessary due to damage from flooding on the north end. Also, alkali from the soil was damaging the concrete. These factors eventually led to construction of a new airstrip, runway 14L/32R. Runway 32R is considered the "calm wind" runway for use when surface wind velocity is less than 10 knots. When surface wind velocity is 10 knots or more, the runway most aligned with the wind will be selected.

In 2001, South Delta Taxiway became Runway 12/30. It is approximately 5,420 feet long and is easily accessible from the Southend ramp.

The lakebed runways 03/21 and 09/27 are used when strong crosswinds prohibit a landing on the main runway. A satellite image acquired on 29 June 2009 shows that Runway 03/21 has been moved south about one mile so that it now crosses runway 09/27 at midfield.



posted on Jan, 24 2010 @ 05:44 AM
link   
I have 2 naive questions, and some outrageous speculation

Was the B2 tested at dreamland? I genuinely don’t know... If it was, do we know which hanger it was housed in? The point being, why build a new jumbo sized hangar, why not re-use the old B2 hangar for the similarly sized NGB?

Huge hangar = huge aircraft?? Why would hypersonic aircraft be huge? (For fuel demands right?) but wouldn’t a two stage system be more aerodynamically efficient? A piggy back system may require a tall hangar to allow the sub orbital craft to be craned onto the back of the bus / mothership.



posted on Jan, 24 2010 @ 08:07 AM
link   

Originally posted by Catalytic
I have 2 naive questions, and some outrageous speculation

Was the B2 tested at dreamland? I genuinely don’t know... If it was, do we know which hanger it was housed in? The point being, why build a new jumbo sized hangar, why not re-use the old B2 hangar for the similarly sized NGB?

The B-2 was not developed at Groom, and was in fact not a true “black aircraft,” since it was displayed to the public approximately eight months before its first flight.


Originally posted by Catalytic
Huge hangar = huge aircraft?? Why would hypersonic aircraft be huge? (For fuel demands right?) but wouldn’t a two stage system be more aerodynamically efficient? A piggy back system may require a tall hangar to allow the sub orbital craft to be craned onto the back of the bus / mothership.

huge hangar probably ='s multiple projects... but you may have answered your own question to a certain degree.
Also if a B-2 sized bomber is being built there the facility would have to be rather large.



posted on Feb, 20 2010 @ 10:51 PM
link   
I attended AFA's Air Warfare Symposium 2010 in Orlando and there were musings from various speakers regarding a desired Long Range Strike/New Bomber program. Also in unofficial sideline conversations with some of the more gabby industry and AF brass the 2018 bomber program is a done deal and already in progress, which could further back-up the guesswork we've been doing here on ATS.

Politics is the reason given, as the Obama Administration is desperate to shake off the impression that they are anti-military. According to rumor (and we all know how rumor can be ie: total BS) the bomber apparently got the ok in 2006 by the Bush Administration. However, a resent hurdle in the development, (probably the needed go ahead to build 2 flying prototypes)is rumored to have been given the the "ok" by the Obama Administration.

(Do any of you long term readers remember the 2 + billion dollars the Air Force set aside for the 2018 bomber in 2006? You may also remember that in 2008 Northrop Grumman posted a revenue of 2.6 billion in "restricted" programs, a line item in Schedule 5 of their yearly budget that had not been there in previous years.)

One of the speakers who spoke of the 2018/Next Gen Bomber was Lt. General Frank Kratz, commander of the Air Force Global Strike Command.

Lt. Gen. Klotz stressed that he fully backs development of a next-generation LRS aircraft. Klotz said there will continue to be a need for LRS systems that can strike deep into enemy territory but can also perform other missions such as reconnaissance. He additionally stated that B-52s and B-2s will remain on active duty until a next-generation bomber system is ready.

Although there was nothing official said regarding the existence of an ongoing new bomber program, the gossip in the hallways seemed to indicate an overall belief that such a program is underway.

Sources & Good reads on the subject:
"The Obama Bomber" - Air Force Magazine, January 2010

"AFA's 2007 Air Warfare Symposium Transcripts" - The Air Force Association Magazine, February 2007

"Northrop Grumman's Secret X-Bomber" - Aviation Week's Ares Weblog, May 27, 2008

"The New Bomber Advocate" - Air Force Magazine, February 2010



posted on Feb, 21 2010 @ 12:18 AM
link   
post removed for serious violation of ATS Terms & Conditions



posted on Feb, 21 2010 @ 07:10 AM
link   
At last, a big sexy hush hush(-ish) aircraft that will probably see the light of day!

I realise that to hit the timelines for delivery, this aircraft will be state of the art i.e. it will use the best (relevant) technology available today and it will not depend on technologies and fabrication techniques that 'have not yet been invented'. A welcome outbreak of common sense!

I wonder though, does this pragmatic approach allow us to speculate on the capabilities of this aircraft??

1/ It is similar in size to the B2, so probably will have a similar payload?

2/ I don’t have a clue how many will be built, lets suppose a full, airframe for airframe replacement of 76 B-52s and 20 B-2s? I hope this beast is cheaper than the B2!!!

3/ Reduced RCS becomes a game of diminishing returns! (the cost of significantly reducing the RCS vs. B2 will likely be far too expensive to be worth doing? so similar RCS to the B2?

SPECULATION on other goodies in the mix....

The second link in Intelgurl's post above ("AFA's 2007 Air Warfare Symposium Transcripts" - The Air Force Association Magazine, February 2007) is illuminating! especially the 6th question to General Keys from the symposium floor...

To paraphrase this question r.e. LRS, "Why is another subsonic night-only solution the right answer?"

4/ The person who asked that question assumes visible stealth is not an option... I myself would not, however lets not get too carried away on the level of visible stealth that could be delivered.

5/ Subsonic? Almost certainly unless unspeakable (unfeasible) exotic technologies do exist in the industry and can be cost effectively applied. Reality check… the X-47B does not look like a supersonic airframe to me.

Treasure from General Keys answer…

6/ He was reluctant to call it a ‘son of B2 aircraft’ which implies in his mind there will be significant difference between the capabilities of the LRS when compared to the B2. My initial bias was that the LRS would be more capable than the B2, however my logic also allows that the LRS could be less capable? He did talk about LRS being part of a system of sytems, not the type of aircraft that could attack China alone (With tanking support I guess the B2 could do this?)

7/ subsonic vs. supersonic? I would paraphrase the General’s response as ‘we have a target range and payload and sensor mix, if the industry can deliver a supersonic solution we’ll take it but if not, subsonic is fine BUT we want it by 2018!

8/ The most exciting thing for me was the implication that a single airframe was at least under consideration which could operate in both manned roles (nuclear role) and unmanned roles (reconnaissance and persistent strike options).

Being male and visually orientated, for me the most exciting thing about a new secret aircraft is it’s unveiling so I can see what it looks like, unfortunately the X-47B has spoilt Christmas morning for me :-(


[edit on 21-2-2010 by Catalytic]

[edit on 21-2-2010 by Catalytic]



posted on Feb, 21 2010 @ 07:16 PM
link   
Thanks for all the updates.

One aspect to consider is that IF the bomber is to be part of the SIOP then some missions will have to be manned. The go/no go option will for now and the foreseable future have to have a human in the loop precluding unmanned nuclear bombers



posted on Feb, 21 2010 @ 07:26 PM
link   

Originally posted by FredT
Thanks for all the updates.

One aspect to consider is that IF the bomber is to be part of the SIOP then some missions will have to be manned. The go/no go option will for now and the foreseable future have to have a human in the loop precluding unmanned nuclear bombers

I think the manned/unmanned option is off the table with the 2018 bomber. No one in the industry that I'm aware of actually thinks this will be the case.
There will be some smaller bombers of the X-45/X-47 lineage that will have to be well proven in combat before you see a manned/unmanned large capacity strategic bomber.



posted on Mar, 4 2010 @ 12:11 PM
link   
reply to post by intelgurl
 


"follow the money"? Intelgurl, do you follow reinhardt at enterprisecorruption.com?

just wondering.



posted on Mar, 5 2010 @ 08:11 AM
link   

Originally posted by HatTrick
Intelgurl, do you follow reinhardt at enterprisecorruption.com?

just wondering.

No I do not. Sorry...



posted on Mar, 10 2010 @ 09:13 AM
link   
A little more fuel to conjecture of a Next Gen Bomber that could be underway at A51/Groom Lake:

Boeing and Lockheed have now officially dissolved their Next Gen Bomber development alliance, stating that "The teaming agreement (between Lockheed and Boeing) now is on hold until we understand where the government is headed".

Interestingly enough this announcement comes at the same time as Northrop Grumman officially bows out of the KC-X tanker competition. Could there have been a back office agreement between Boeing and Northrop?

This on top of the already proven fact that Northrop is making billions on un-named black project(s), and Northrop is according to many insiders the USAF's favorite in any future bomber project.
as well as...
Th new huge hangar surrounded with Earth berms at A51. The berms obviously being there to thwart any attempts to see what could be going on at ground level around the hangar.

Interesting at the very least... what do you guys say?

Natalie~

[edit on 3-10-2010 by intelgurl]



posted on Mar, 10 2010 @ 01:54 PM
link   
For what it's worth, I don't think anyone could fault your logic regarding a possible back office agreement between Boeing and Northrop.

Whilst this does not seem like the best deal for the American tax payer (it was my understanding that the NG_EADS proposal was much better), is it possible to rationalise this development when viewed from the position of a Government trying to sustain 3 major military areospace manufacturers?

The precedent seems to be Lockheed for fighters, Northrop for bombers (and who could argue with those 2 choices)........ now what can we get Boeing to do???? Tankers??

In the longer term, irrespective of whether your god is man made climate change or dwindling fossil fuel reserves, commercial aviation needs to make improvements in energy effiency. In the UK at least, the next generation of consumers are being indoctrinated to the ideals of energy effiency every day, at school, online and even with "act on CO2" TV commercials evey other commercial break, (Please don't missunderstand me, I agree with the goal, I would just prefer to be told the whole unpalatable truth and not be treated as a child). Barring unprecedented breakthroughs, blended wing aircraft like the X48 seem to offer reasonable increases in fuel efficiency, Boeing had planned to avoid the problematic passenger market (seating plans, evacuation routes etc) and offer blended wing aircraft as tankers and cargo aircraft.

Do we see some long term chess moves going on here? when the next generation of consumers are buying their air tickets society may have evolved to the stage where a reduced imprint is valued higher than a window seat or a lightness in their tea cups when the aircraft banks to make a turn. (I hope so) if events unfolded this way Boeing and their blended wing tankers and cargo aircraft would be perfectly placed to move into airliners.

anyway, I'm off my soapbox now, so back on message, why would this aircraft be developed at Groom when the B2 was not? is this a logistical move or a change in best practise when developing black projects? have any previous aircraft actually been built in the box or are they just tested there?

for those that have not seen this here is a teaser

NG LRS model?

Let's see in ~8 years how well recieved the above model was by comparing to the eventual output of this black project

Airspace Mag

at least we can be sure something exciting is going on at Area 51!!!



posted on Mar, 10 2010 @ 09:19 PM
link   
I understand things are unlikely changing at Skunk Works in Palmdale. What does that mean? Likely will remain on a trajectory we've read about in the past 5 to 10 years. A few stories about studies (TOPCOVER, SSBJ, FALCON, MINION, MQ-X, STUAS), some demonstrators (P-791, ACCA, P-175, RQ-170) - but little in the way of fielded operational systems, like U-2S, JASSM and what RATTLRS is to become. Lockheed seems to be preoccupied with keeping JSF sold in Fort Worth and may be finding it difficult to pick up additional USAF (or DoD) funding in SAP programs.

The stories we've read about the reported classified programs in 2007/2008, could be considered speculative. But, Northrop did undeniably go on a hiring spree, of TS cleared personnel, starting in late 2007 and wrapping up about mid-2008. I'd say that a critical mass of sensitive activity may have shifted from Lockheed toward Northrop. If there's a way we could review the job postings from Northrop (or Lockheed) during this period, like using "The Wayback Machine", we may be able to wrap our heads around the magnitude and type of work hired and verify what we're hearing.

My guess is that Boeing has been behind in the area of black programs. Although, there was a surge of job openings based in Dallas under their "Boeing Military Aircraft/Global Strike" line of business in spring of 2009. Something may be brewing there. I drove the surface streets of greater Dallas, while in the area last spring on a month-long engineering test trip. I could not find a trace of this activity. I asked around in my circle and was told that something in the Dallas area was afoot but was "...fascinating, but not necessarily new development." I still find it interesting and am not certain they were discussing the same program in question.



posted on Jun, 8 2010 @ 09:13 PM
link   
I was recently researching past contracts on FedSpending.org, and queried Northrop's funding trail in the past 10 years. If you filter their funding to "Miscellaneous Items", you'll notice something interesting performed in "Unknown districts":

Federal Spending - Northrop Grumman - Miscellaneous Items

Northrop was paid $4.3B in the period between 2007 & 2008 from the US Army (see my post above for other clues during this period). I recall hearing about a possible Army effort going on in the early 2000's that may have shifted work from Lockheed to Northrop. This supports that rumor.

Northrop is unquestionably one of the more recent black program prime contractors. One may speculate the effort was a USAF program (NGB), but disguised as Army-funded to throw investigators "off the scent".

On the other hand, you night assume that if the $4B program is truly pushed by the Army, it's likely a tactical asset, and not the more strategic NGB. From other sources, I've read the USAF has made it's peace with the Army, allowing the Army to remain operating tactical UAS. Look at the continuation of the MQ-1C Sky Warrior ERMP UAS for example.

I've read in multiple places that the RQ-170 is a more tactical asset. Is it linked to the $4B Northrop/Army program? Was Northrop the UAS prime contractor and subcontracted the airframe to Lockheed?

[edit on 8-6-2010 by TAGBOARD]

[edit on 8-6-2010 by TAGBOARD]



posted on Jun, 8 2010 @ 09:26 PM
link   
My personal belief on this is that the military has no need for these kinds of large fast stealth aircraft and they may be disinformation.

I believe they have gone completely into high altitude stealth blimps with high powered lasers or rail guns as weapons.



posted on Jun, 10 2010 @ 01:21 PM
link   

Originally posted by TAGBOARD
Northrop is unquestionably one of the more recent black program prime contractors. One may speculate the effort was a USAF program (NGB), but disguised as Army-funded to throw investigators "off the scent".


More likely the money was related to SMDC and Prompt Global Strike, imo.



posted on Feb, 2 2015 @ 10:18 PM
link   

edit on 2-2-2015 by TAGBOARD because: 140326



posted on Feb, 3 2015 @ 02:00 PM
link   
a reply to: TAGBOARD

Just a wonder, but what did you have here, TAG? Or is this a hint to the blackswift or 72?



new topics

top topics



 
4
<< 1    3 >>

log in

join