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The RQ-170 is how small? tiny!

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posted on Dec, 13 2010 @ 08:53 PM
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Having a look at old images when some thing struck me like a hammer - the RQ-170 wheels I have seen before close up and it was on a Reaper UCAV at a static air display. So I threw up a comparison in photoshop.

Now thats interesting - If I am right this airframe is little bigger than a Dark Star and I distinctly remember an article a long time ago about a 'Dark Star Like' airframe and the U-2s over Iraq with over wing communications fairings.

Time will tell but this airframe is little over 4 feet high if the scale is correct.




posted on Dec, 13 2010 @ 09:23 PM
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Ok, U an ur country buy a MILLION of these.

Me and a million space cowboys will roll on you.

Golf Foxtrot Lima.

ROF
LMA


















o



posted on Dec, 13 2010 @ 09:26 PM
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Great Scott! But how well does it kill??


Also, uh, not to be rude, but is this a question, or a statement, or a proposition...?


Originally posted by Astr0

Having a look at old images when some thing struck me like a hammer - the RQ-170 wheels I have seen before close up and it was on a Reaper UCAV at a static air display. So I threw up a comparison in photoshop.

Now thats interesting - If I am right this airframe is little bigger than a Dark Star and I distinctly remember an article a long time ago about a 'Dark Star Like' airframe and the U-2s over Iraq with over wing communications fairings.




posted on Dec, 14 2010 @ 06:39 AM
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Lets just say that this approach... has its flaws.




posted on Dec, 14 2010 @ 06:41 PM
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Matej - Here is what I am willing to stand by scale wise.




posted on Dec, 14 2010 @ 07:03 PM
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Great original post. There's more information to go by in the last image you posted. Michael Yon (who supposedly took the picture?) was riding inside of an aircraft of some type? There appears to to be a piece of aircraft structure in the foreground of the image (looks like an engine nacelle) that will help identify the aircraft he's riding in.

The viewpoint of the camera is clearly above the waterline of the leading edge of the RQ-170 wing, and also appears to be looking down upon the entire vehicle. At least the camera is coplaner with the apex of the upper surface of the inlet/nacelle of the RQ-170 - which is the highest point.

If we could find the aircraft type, we may be able to estimate how high off the ground the camera was, and this may also scale the aircraft. Others may disagree, but for practical purposes, I'd bet you can estimate it's size with 80% accuracy. This shouldn't have to be rocket science.
edit on 14-12-2010 by TAGBOARD because: (no reason given)

edit on 14-12-2010 by TAGBOARD because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 14 2010 @ 09:58 PM
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Here is my latest analysis on size of the airframe:

I looked into the Michael Yon image a little further and noticed the holding position sign labeled "5-23" in the background, just aft of the port wingtip of the RQ-170. I looked into signage specs online and found the following link:

Planning and Design of Airports by Robert Horonjeff - Page 338

The table states the sign legend (i.e. inscription) can be 15 to 18 inches in height, depending on the "effectiveness, aircraft clearance, jet blast and snow removal" (per the referenced book). We can assume, since the sign is behind the RQ-170, it can be used as a reasonable scale to measure the distances on the airframe.

If the distance from the camera to the RQ-170 is much greater than from the RQ-170 to the sign, then it is reasonable and can be proven with a little geometric analysis. In reality, the aircraft will measure smaller than if the signage height is used as the measuring unit. Also, per the link below, a standard taxiway light stands 14 in:

GSI-LED-861-T

I downloaded the original Michael Yon image from flickr:



Then overlaid it in MS PowerPoint and, leaving the original aspect ratio alone, resized it at 9.0 in by 6.0 in. I overlaid a rectangular shape and found the holding position sign font to be 0.095 in (it is to be at least 15 in tall, per the book). I also found the taxiway light in the near field to measure 0.48 in (it is 14 in per the GSI link). This allowed me to measure the RQ-170:

Height = 0.60 in
Tip to Tip = 3.96 in
Starboard = 0.82 in
Port = 3.14 in

So drawing lines from the near to the far field heights of 14 inches, and pick 2/3 of the way from the taxiway light to the holding position sign, we get a scale of about 82:1 for an image that is 9.0 in by 6.0 in.

Height = 49.4 in = 4.1 ft
Tip to Tip = 325.9 in = 27.2 ft (at this offset angle we are looking from)
Starboard = 67.5 in = 5.6 ft
Port = 258.4 in = 21.5 ft

I also ran a cosine table (of offset angle) of estimated wing spans, varying the offset angle we are viewing the RQ-170 off it's centerline. As a result, I'm estimating the following wing spans:

View Angle [deg] = Wing Span [ft]
30 deg = 31.4 ft
45 deg = 38.4 ft
60 deg = 54.3 ft

My best estimate is that we're viewing a little more than 45 deg, but less than 60 deg, putting the wing span at around 46 ft. I believe Bill Sweetman's estimates are over 75 ft, however I tend to agree with Astr0 and believe it is significantly smaller than first thought.

Another element to consider is they're likely running a Williams International FJ-44-X core turbofan and these engines are not that powerful, thus supporting the smaller airframe theory. If you look at the FJ-44-4, the thrust rating for an uninstalled single engine runs 3,600 lb. With a fairly conservative T/W ratio of 0.35 and an inlet installation loss of 25% (you'll likely see more due to the grid inlet and extreme flow turning angle at higher total AoA), you get a TOGW around 7,700 lb which is small. RQ-3A TOGW was 8,500 lb.
edit on 14-12-2010 by TAGBOARD because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 15 2010 @ 10:13 AM
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Well Tagboard, what can I say? fantastic work there. Much better than my 'wheels' approach lol. That said, the M. Yon photo shows without doubt it is a small (Darkstar size) airframe.

Thank you for the hard work in working out a better approach.



posted on Dec, 15 2010 @ 03:22 PM
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Originally posted by Astr0
Matej - Here is what I am willing to stand by scale wise.


I accept it and disagree with you. With your method related to the wheels to be precise. There are two important things:

1. Now we have only one photo of the operational vehicle - the one made by Michael Yon. Currently there is not any other. Its important to note that the other photos of the "beast of Kandahar" are not showing the same vehicle.

2. You dont have enough critical data to compute - like the focal lenght of the camera and such. Yes, we can do the estimations, but using this approach you will have so many variables, that you can end with the discrepancy on the first digit. And this kind of result has no sense.

I can agree that RQ-170 is smaller than the most people think, certainly smaller than the PoleCat, but my estimation is somewhere near the 55 feet.



posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 12:10 AM
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I can't disagree with Matej on the two points made. My earlier estimate of wing span shows there is a large sentivity of wing span to the camera view angle.

Additionally, I believe the "Beast of Kandahar" images first disclosed a couple years ago actually showed more than one airframe (same as Matej appears to claim). You need to look very closely at each image and I believe you'll see what I mean. Perhaps we have a Hunter-Killer system where the Hunter is unmanned and the Killer is manned?
edit on 1-1-2011 by TAGBOARD because: 110101A



posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 05:42 AM
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Tagboard: Good Work
OP:


anyways it's good to know.



posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 08:34 AM
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This little bird won't do what the U-2 used to do.

Hopefully they put C-4 in them to self detonate once China shoots one down. They'd be able to make copies of them pretty quick....plus figure out how to defeat them.

If I was an Admiral in the Chinese Navy it would be one of my ambitions to bring one of them down in the Pacific.

My guess is the UAV's going to Guam....likely this little bird will be one of them. With these plastic airframes, if you shot it with a Laser while it's in flight....wouldn't it burn? Aluminum airframes would dissipate heat, these new composites burn like he!!, zapping one with a laser and she'd burn until it went down. The guy controlling it from 12,000 miles away wouldn't even know why it went down.

I think us using plastic airplanes is a stupid idea. We all saw how well the B-2 Spirit burned. Smacked down in the middle of the airfield fully intact but burnt completely to a crisp.

Who's the idiot in the Pentagon that thought plastic airplanes was good idea?



posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 09:21 AM
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Interesting perspective. I suppose the customer did not take the volatile burn properties of a composite airframe as a measure of merit when developing the system. I understand plausible deniability is considered and can be employed in several ways.

I appreciate the perspective that was originally brought by Astr0 in scaling the vehicle based on images we have.

I have yet to see reasonable evidence there is not a Hunter-Killer CONOP related to the RQ-170. Because a forum member argues or dimisses perspectives with little supporting evidence (based on repution or otherwise), does not verify their position as fact (just my opinion - no disrespect to any contributors of the forum).

I suggest bringing the technical analysis, physics, logic, FBOs, actual evidence, etc. to the table. The systems developed for the DoD and related are based on this and the puzzle can perhaps be more easily deciphered using the same methods.

Perhaps the Hunter is the RQ-170, the Killer something to be disclosed:

Kandahar Mystery UCAV Confirmed
edit on 1-1-2011 by TAGBOARD because: 110101A



posted on Jan, 24 2011 @ 12:19 PM
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www.secretprojects.co.uk

They have a series of VERY high resoultion photos of the bird sat on the runway at Kandahar.

It is as small as I thought - tiny - not much larger than the Tier lll - (darkspot)



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