The technology demostrators for the B-2 were developed in the black world for sure. But the B-2 was revealed shortly after its creation, unlike the
F-117 and other new stuff like the RQ-170, stealth chopper, etc. I see this as the pattern we will continue to stick to as a country. Why release
info on these projects when we can operate a fleet of planes/jets in secret for a decade without the public knowledge? Stay ahead of the enemy. The
RQ-170, in my opinion, was deliberately "placed" in Iran for some purpose (ie. flame, other virus). We only know of the stealth choppers from the
raid. So there's stuff out there that would blow your mind for sure, but you wont know about them for probably a decade.
As for Aurora, I agree with Zyphod. It was just a line in a budget that took off because the name sounded fancy when all it was was a line for the B-2
project. I'm not saying that a recon plane to replace the SR-71 doesn't exist, cause it does, but its not called Aurora, and it's certainly not
called a TR-3B. Everyone who looks at this black world aircraft procurement and testing always look past the lowest common denominator in the
equation: They all need to be refueled at some point, especially high flying, supersonic aircraft. So look at the boom operators in the world.
Especially the Edwards boys. Take into account that there's only about 6-700 of us in the United States, then look at how many of those are
instructor booms, your looking at 200 guys who've seen just about every weapons system being built in the black world, and that's a stretch because
you have to go to Edwards to get to do the blackworld stuff. Good luck getting us to talk though
I'll just come out and say it, and those of you who know me don't read!!! Yes there is an aircraft built that didn't specifically replace the
SR-71, but it was built for electronic warfare, among other things. In Qatar during the second Gulf War, we had the 117 hangers directly across the
road from the tanker squadron office. When they came in, right before we went into Iraq in 2003, other aircraft accompanied them to the party. This is
also confirmed by many AWACS operators who report F-117 pilots talking to a wingman they can't pick up using any means of detection available today.
Lets face it, the F-117 is a piece of crap when it comes to anything but stealth. Who was providing EW protection for the small bomber/strike
aircraft? Well they aren't going to send in some EA-6B's into Iraq without taking out at least their SAM sites on the gulf right? Screw that when
you can just fly two planes into Baghdad and nobody would know until it was too late! Long story short, these "other" aircraft were parked in the
same hanger as the F-117's were housed, except they were kept way more secure, behind partitions, in the back of the area.And yes, only a select few
had the training to refuel them
We do know that the government likes to build one plane in the white world and a competing plane in the black world for other reasons. There's a
reason that the YF-23 beat the raptor in almost every category of flight, yet the raptor won the contract. Wonder why? Probably because the 23 went
into development in the black world as an ISR platform or something because of how great the plane was. I've seen some other posts in the last few
days about the F-35 and all its problems. According to Zyphod's sources, another aircraft could be being built alongside the F-35 because they knew
it was going to be mothballed the entire time. This project is taking waaaaaaaaaay to long and costing waaaaaaaay too much to be sustainable. I think
it makes sense that another fighter is already being tested in the Nevada desert to put the F-35 out of business.
BTW, I won't answer any specific questions about classified aircraft except to say that this one is of stealth design, and is painted black as well.
From my understanding from some booms today, it did NOT get retired with the 117's in 2008. It's still out there doing it's thing. I'm willing to
bet it was over Pakistan during the UBL raid too
(funny how an entire city looses comm's right before the raid huh?). My guess is that even if
they do retire them, they will be kept secret until the technology is outdated. There's too much to lose by letting it fall into the wrong hands. So
unless we lose one somewhere, or someone gets a good pic of it, the public will be left guessing about what the F(*& it is!