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RQ-170 captured in Iran (oddity)

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posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 06:50 PM
So I just found an interesting picture of the RQ-170 that was captured by Iran, when it was on display. It's the only picture I've seen of it with the gear down, and it raises a question about the aircraft.

This is the RQ-170 on the taxiway at Kandahar:

Notice the nose landing gear, with that door on the side of it. When the landing gear retracts, that door covers the strut and meshes with the airframe to seal the nose gear in (I know, I'm tired and that's the best sentence I could come up with).

Now this is the RQ-170 that Iran has:

Notice anything odd?

In this one, when the nose gear retracts, there's nothing to cover all of it, which would leave it entirely unstealthy. It doesn't appear to have any damage that would be consistent with the nose gear door ripping off either. Very interesting.

posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 06:55 PM
I must be out-of-the-loop; I've never seen that kind of drone before. I always just had the image of predator drones in my head when I think of drones. This is a US drone?
edit on 7-2-2013 by SilentKoala because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 06:59 PM
That is odd, none of the landing gears have those doors on them in the iran picture but in the other picture all three of the landing have those doors.

posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 07:03 PM
reply to post by SilentKoala

The RQ-170 is a fill in UAV. It's stealthy, unlike the Predator and Reaper, but not as stealthy as the one that will replace it. It's flown by the USAF and the CIA (it was developed as a joint project).

posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 07:05 PM
reply to post by Tardacus

And without them the landing gear would reflect radar. That's one thing with the F-117 and the B-2. When the doors were open, the internal structure, which was normal aluminum, gave them an RCS about the size of a B-52, or bigger. The same thing would happen here.

posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 07:09 PM
It's a mock up. That's what's weird about it and I didn't see it until just now and of course, seeing the landing gear. What's MISSING?

posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 07:12 PM
reply to post by Wrabbit2000

Look at the nose gear of the one at Kandahar, and then at the one in Tehran. Every picture of the one in Kandahar has a nose gear door, on the left side of the strut. The one in Tehran doesn't have anything on the nose strut, and no damage to account for it being ripped off, or damaged in the crash landing.

posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 07:41 PM
From the angle it is entirely possible the door has been taken off due to damage - you jsut do not see the undeside of het aircraft so there is no way of noticing.

Given the pictures show the drone crashed on its belly I wouldn't be surprised if the gear door had to be removed to enable the gear to be lowered due to damage.

Interesting for sure - but not really definitive of anything IMO.

posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 07:44 PM
reply to post by Zaphod58

here is a render from wikipedia.

another image released by iran

This has always been a bs story from the beginning.

posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 07:45 PM
reply to post by grey580

That last one isn't the Sentinel. It's frequently confused for the RQ-170 but it's not. The exhaust is wrong, and it doesn't have the distinctive humps that the Sentinel does.

posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 07:47 PM
reply to post by Aloysius the Gaul

No, it isn't definitive, but it does lend a little more credence to it being allowed to be captured for some reason. Whether it was to inject a virus into a computer system, or some other purpose we don't know about. Something always seemed wrong to me about this. There were doors on the one in Tehran that didn't make sense, and now the landing gear door being missing, with no apparent damage to the area around where it should be.

posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 07:52 PM
Maybe since they were going to display it they removed this portion of the aircraft. Maybe they did it to offer the viewer a clearer picture of the underside of the drone. That would be my guess, and would explain this anomaly. I do not see any other alternative really, and while it is an anomaly, I cannot really tell if you are implying that this holds some hidden meaning. And as someone mentioned, this may be a mock-up, and not the actual drone, considering that the damage to the original could have left it in a condition that would not have allowed for a proper display of what the aircraft looks like. I do not really know, as I have not read up on the subject, but from my point of view these are the most logical conclusions.

posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 07:59 PM
reply to post by Zaphod58

Doors for the rear wheels are missing too.

posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 08:00 PM
reply to post by JiggyPotamus

My theory, along with several other people, is that the Sentinel was allowed to be captured, for some reason. Whether it was to allow access to protected Iranian networks, with a Flame like program, or something we don't know about, but for some reason it was allowed to be captured. Another theory is that it was a one off, or a specially built Sentinel, because it had some features that didn't make sense.

If you look at the pictures of them bringing it out of the desert, it looks pretty intact, so I don't see why they couldn't display it, and would have to display a mock up. If it crashed how it was said to have, it would have landed pretty much intact, and would be fairly easy to recover, as this appeared to be. The damage to the wings matches up perfectly, and where they were removed matches nicely with the one on display. From all appearances it's the same aircraft.

If it was flown without the door on it, it would have a nice radar return, and would allow the Iranians to know where it was, and get out there to recover it before anyone on the US side could suggest bombing it, and blowing it up. The CIA has a track record of coming up with some bizarre ideas, and allowing a Sentinel to be captured would fit right in with some of their others.

posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 08:47 PM
I've been out hopping around the net and found some really good pictures of what real ones look like. There are some good ones to highlight the ..ahem..missing parts. Now I see why they were so careful to cover the undercarriage.

I really thought it was probably the real thing until now. It wasn't a perfect match. Almost though... Now I think they did get one. It was a national embarasment and a personal one to Obama to get offered a little pink model, publicly, in lieu of the actual aircraft parts. I'm really thinking it may have come down real hard and been badly damaged. Maybe that would explain the need?

It's kinda like their recent stealth fighter mock up though. It's a dandy sight ....from a short distance and at the right angles. Up close? Err... Not so much?

I'd also note in at least one video the Iranians say came from the Sentinel, the last few seconds of it show a camera behind what must be landing gear because it pans to the right and behind a vertical support arm while it's clearly been taxing down a flight line for that whole segment of the black and white video. What stands out is the large black hydraulic line it showed though. No hydraulics visible on that 'dainty' looking landing gear on the mock up.

This pic was one I found of someone comparing the vertical communiication/electronics protrusions with one apparently seen on a business type jet. It's the closest original looking photo I've seen for the under carriage of a Sentinel though.

So, okay, the landing gear doesn't look close to the same as the Iranian one, but that may be subjective. The hydraulic lines aren't visible either but most importantly, the doors. If the doors were removed, where are the gaps in the undercarriage ..or big gaping holes, where deployed landing gear goes back? Nothing flies with those extended and you'd think that Iranian one didn't have a place for them to stow, wouldn't ya? Clever!

posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 09:50 PM
reply to post by Wrabbit2000

One of the first things that stood out for me was the color. I've never seen the US use that color for an aircraft, UAV or not. It's almost like they removed the stealth coating, and that's the base color under it. Then there were a few other oddities, such as doors that shouldn't be there. And it always struck me as odd that they never showed the undercarriage. Now that I've seen it down on that one, it just adds to the mystery for me.

posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 09:56 PM
Actually, I just noticed something that is even odder than the lack of a landing gear bay door: the seeming lack of a landing gear bay at all.

The Kandahar photos show a very large landing gear door, suggesting a side-folding nose wheel. Curiously absent from the Iranian news footage is that landing gear door. What I find very odd is that the area that the wheel would retract into is totally covered. It couldn't go gear-up if it tried. Some aircraft have gear doors that close again with the gear down, but the door that we do see isn't capable of that. From the Iranian footage I would say that this aircraft is not capable of flying with folded landing gear, strange as it is to say.

The rear has something similar, but the angle makes it more difficult to be definitive. The above image shows that the main landing gear bays extend quite far forward, so much so that I would expect to see the front tips of them on the Iranian footage. I do not. Again, they may be covered by secondary doors, but I see no evidence of that from the photo.

Obviously this forces me to ask a bunch of questions. Is this a real photo of something the Iranians have in their possession? Have either the photo or the aircraft been altered or fabricated in some way? If the footage is legitimate, is the aircraft equally so? Zaphod already brought up the possibility of a plant by intelligence services, and it seems that if this were the case, then one would expect any sacrificial capture to be intentionally hobbled in many ways. This may be such a case. Personally, I wonder if other combinations of events might also have merit. Perhaps the aircraft went down (shot down or malfunctioned, depending on source) and, rather than show the real deal, the Iranians produced a lookalike for media purposes. Frankly if any UAV technology went down in Iran I would expect it to be taken apart and scrutinized with haste rather than paraded in front of camera where a mock-up will do.

Notice that in the very first display of this supposed capture, the undercarriage is thoroughly concealed. Curious,

Afterthought: After thinking a bit more about this, it occurs to me that if the aircraft did indeed accidentally land from a malfunction or whatever, it probably endured significant undercarriage damage. Rocky desert is not exactly the most hospitable runway, and there's a good chance some sort of damage would have taken place. If so, it is conceivable that the Iranians could have attempted a repair, resulting in the oddities we are observing. That said, there is a lot of 'ifs' and a lot of speculation in the wall of text I have just written.

posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 10:16 PM
reply to post by Darkpr0

I noticed that too, and was trying to find a good shot of the nose gear to see if I was right. I'm glad I'm not the only one that saw that. I don't know if they would have tried a repair or not, as it would have made more sense to me to just leave it covered up. And there doesn't appear to be any damage anywhere else on the belly. So either they did a really good job of fixing it up, except for the landing gear, or there was very little damage somehow if this is the real aircraft. Which raises the question of if it was intentionally landed after all. If they brought it down gently, I wouldn't expect much damage to the belly.

posted on Feb, 8 2013 @ 08:43 AM
Something else to consider is how did they extract the landing gear? It 'landed' gear up.
The doors would have to be removed, then the gear manually cranked out possibly, (if that option exists).

Possible they could have left the doors off. I like the trojan horse aspect though, let them catch it, take it back into their house and retrieve megabytes of false flag disinformation.

Then when Ahmadinejad has it mounted like a trophy in his living room, detonate it.

posted on Feb, 8 2013 @ 11:21 AM

Originally posted by Chadwickus
reply to post by Zaphod58

Doors for the rear wheels are missing too.

yes they are and not only are they missing but you`ll notice that there is no "holes" on the bottom of the wings for the doors to close over and form the bottom part of the wing.The bottom of the wing is complete and closed right up to near the landing gear.
something is very odd

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