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.