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RQ-170 captured in Iran (oddity)

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posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 09:50 AM
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Originally posted by Zaphod58
reply to post by muzzleflash
 


Have you ever noticed that when someone sees an "odd" plane, they always say "it was white with no markings"? That's because white or lighter colors jump out at you when you're plane spotting.


At the heights the RQ-170 operates at, you are much more likely to see the silhouette than the aircraft. Think "Yehudi lights".




posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 10:13 AM
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Mind if I pitch in? So there are a few possibility's.

1) There was inside intel so that Iran knew when and where it was gonna be at that given time.
2) Its a trojan horse, I'm thinking something like a signal being send and see where it bounces to get an idea of interior from a facility. Or just to upload a virus etc etc.

3 is something I was thinking about the other night, I'm really starting to think the whike Iran-America situation is starting to feel like coldwar 2.0 same goes for NK that aside. But lets just hypothetically say that Iran and the USA are keeping in touch to finally get rid of Israel's grip on the US. and arab leaque.

I think they deliberately landed that aircraft just so Iran could make stealth drones without having the know how to begin with and thus competing with Israel's drone program, there was a thread here a while ago showing the drone factory of Iran, maybe they"r just waiting for the right OS?

Well allot of maybe's just spit-balling here.
edit on 12-2-2013 by Senduko because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 06:55 PM
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Originally posted by Zaphod58
reply to post by neformore
 


I know there are other factors to take into account, including luck, and I'm not saying they definitely crashed it, just that it's a definite possibility. But why is this one aircraft such an easy to see color when the others are all grey? And if the Iranians did remove the gear doors, why fill in the wheel wells? That just doesn't make sense. To many things don't make sense.



The color makes sense if it is for a low altitude mission. For the Iranian program this makes sense if they are trying to collect radionuclei or measure radiation instead of collecting optical pictures. The higher you fly, the darker you need to blend in---standard military aircraft are standard grey at standard altitudes. U-2 and SR-71 are nearly black for the same reason.

You have to think about how much scattering from the atmosphere above and below the craft. U-2 is so high that most of the scattered light is coming from below, therefore it should be dark to blend in.

A low altitude craft will have a lot of light coming from above, so it should appear as light as it can (reflecting as much as it can of the light coming from below) to blend in the best.

Also the color: nearer the ground the light will have more green & brown from ground reflections so the color of the paint should be appropriate so that it would look as close to 'blue-white' (what sky looks like) after reflecting scattered light with extra ground-color.

Personally I believe
* The craft was taken down by Chinese EW experts working in Iran
* It was not intended to be captured
* the underside was damaged, and rebuilt without functionality or high accuracy for the final display.
* the damaged sensor pod on the underside was sold to the Chinese, like the damaged F-117 parts in the Serbian conflict.
edit on 12-2-2013 by mbkennel because: (no reason given)
edit on 12-2-2013 by mbkennel because: (no reason given)
edit on 12-2-2013 by mbkennel because: (no reason given)
edit on 12-2-2013 by mbkennel because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 07:00 PM
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reply to post by mbkennel
 


Except the Sentinel was designed for high altitude missions. That's how it first came to be known. There were reports of U-2 pilots descending from altitude, and as they passed near the 60,000 foot range they looked out and saw an aircraft that the AWACS hadn't warned them about flying near them. They asked the E-3 what the hell that was about, and the E-3 said they showed no traffic in the area. So it was designed for flying in the same range as the U-2 does, so it should be darker, not lighter.



posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 10:54 PM
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I'm going to weigh in here about high altitude flight and spanloaders or "flying wings". It's a little known fact that you can't trim even a well-reflexed wing above a total aircraft lift coefficient of about 0.6. This is because there's insufficient moment arm from a horizontal stabilizer to trim that much. What this means is the stall speed curve on a typical flight envelope will shift to the right from that of a conventional airframe. Enter the concept of Coffin Corner:

Wikipedia: Coffin Corner

The Coffin Corner is the location on the flight envelope where the pilot (or autopilot) is in a delicate balancing act between flying too slow and stalling out one side of the wing and entering a spin and flying too fast and dealing with Mach buffet. The U-2 managed this space well because it had both a horizontal and vertical stabilizer. The horizontal helps for slower stall speeds, thus pushing the stall speed curve to the left on the envelope and in turn increasing the overall altitude it can reach before reaching Coffin Corner. A vertical stabilizer helps to trim in rudder to prevent spins from single sided wing dip due to stalls.

My point is that Coffin Corner is reached at a lower overall altitude with the spanloader and thus you'll be hard pressed to find a "low observable" configuration that flies 40,000 ft MSL (estimate) or more. You could make the argument that the aircraft just simply flies past the Mach buffet range into supersonic, thus allowing the aircraft to continue to higher altitudes as you see in the A-12 Blackbird, however, I think we can all agree you'd light up the long-wave IR sensors with the excess skin friction drag and aero heating at such higher speeds - thus negating the point of low observability.

The concept that a flying wing can fly extremely high - even with the much coveted GE YJ97-GE-100 turbojet engine that is only "known" to be in mothballs - I believe is simply not true. Another case in point: the high flying Boeing YQM-94 COMPASS COPE B model running the GE YJ97 derivative was a conventional planform with a horizontal to trim in pitch at 70,000 ft MSL. In addition, as Bill Sweetman laid out so well in a past article (notwithstanding it was anecdotal evidence), the RQ-170 is not a dark color and thus flies in the mid range altitudes at best.
edit on 12-2-2013 by TAGBOARD because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 13 2013 @ 08:39 AM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


The P-170/RQ-170 Sentinel does not appear to be a high-altitude design. Although U-2 pilots may have encountered a UAV at altitude, it was never identified as the Sentinel. There have been many classified UAV programs over the past two decades, some of which (unlike the Sentinel) were designed to be high flyers.

The drone captured by Iran appears to be an actual RQ-170. When initially displayed, the apparently damaged underside was kept hidden. The vehicle as displayed now appears to have been cosmetically repaired, perhaps hastily, and without great attention to detail. The sensor pod does not look like the one photographed at Kandahar, and appears to be only a crude approximation. The same with the landing gear door configuration.

How the RQ-170 fell into the hands of the Iranians remains shrouded in mystery, but I heard that the operator crew fell asleep at the controls. This is considerably more plausible than you might imagine.



posted on Mar, 3 2013 @ 04:29 PM
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A point which i would like to raise. If the US gov spends so much money and goes to the huge lengths of secrecy to develop these aircraft (area 51 etc), then why are they so easily falling into foreign hands. Shurely they would be developed to take into account the factor of being capured. Ie some1 at the pentagon or wherever hits a button and it self destructs. It may sound a bit james bond but cmon? I think its a plan the us are playing to locate irans secret military facilities coz thats where it will be stored away?



posted on Mar, 3 2013 @ 06:03 PM
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reply to post by GERRY041284
 


These drones are not developed in Area 51 - the RQ-170 was developed by Lockhed at he "Skunk Works"" in California.

And while it was secret during development ther is obviously no way to operate it and keep it secret and they know it will be captured sooner or later - prety much everything always is.

They can minimise the chances of loss by keeping its operations as secret as possible - ie when it takes off, where it is operating - so as to make it harder for the opposition to figure out counter measures. Such actions will make it less likely to lose one for a longer period - but that is all.

The costs of developing a high tech drone are not due to it being developed in secrecy - they are due to it being high tech.



posted on Mar, 3 2013 @ 06:05 PM
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reply to post by GERRY041284
 


It is believed that there was an RQ-170 crash in the Barstow area around 2008. It's possible that the cause of the crash was a self destruct system malfunction. The theory is that they removed it after that crash, to prevent it from happening again.



posted on Mar, 3 2013 @ 08:41 PM
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I think that the picture Zaphod linked to - the one with the oddity, is a "replica" or something of the sort. I don't believe that is the captured (or perhaps conveniently downed) drone, for a couple of reasons that I will elaborate on in a moment.

Having done some digging into this anomaly.. the whole landing gear issue, lack of bays for said landing gear etc. I did find an image that sort of jives with the "odd RQ-170." It's the best one that shows the underside, and there are some similarities methinks.



That one also appears to have the same issues, and it apparently was used on a float display... according to this: Fars News Link

There are other images on the net that show this, but from a slightly overhead view.

So, ultimately I think it's is a propaganda piece, or display model for Iran.
The first video that came out regarding this - the one that looked like it was filmed in a gymnasium (with the underside hidden) probably is the real aircraft. Doubtful that it would be paraded around, as it's probably in a very secure location being examined.

The RQ-170 went down December 4th 2011 according to wiki (I know) but is that accurate?
The RQ-170 "gymnasium model" video came out December 8th or 9th 2011, right?
Lastly the RQ-170 "float display model" was February 11th 2012.

Pretty fast to work up a visually similar scale model, if that is really what we are seeing here.
Is it possible that this drone was downed earlier than had been reported?

And, there is the alternative angle... being this particular drone was flown just like we see it, with fixed landing gear. Perhaps that is why the underside is obscured in the video release, for saving face after stating you just acquired a highly classified stealth drone, just with some rather odd non-functional properties.


Either way you look at it, it is strange.





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