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reply to post by FosterVS
These were from Brainwash Butte. Mt. Diablo is kind of a bit "in their face" given it is right by the guard shack. Also the view would be from the side rather than front of the base.
Brainwash Butte got its name from Brainwash Cola, something the interceptors were drinking at the time. They still make Brainwash Cola the last time I looked. It is at BevMo, though I suspect the interceptors got it from the Death Valley Nut and Candy store in Beatty.
Brain Wash Cola
I got a bottle once for yucks. You aren't missing much, but I'm not a cola connoisseur.
Mt. Diablo is good if you want to catch planes landing at the base.
reply to post by DesertWatchdog
I will order the FAA records for the plane. In theory, it should indicate the modifications.
Since the RQ-170 is/was based out of the TTR and the pod on the front looks like a typical UAV imaging sensor, one possibility is N165W was the test bed for the RQ-170 avionics or sensors. Seems a bit overkill since they could just as easily do this in a twin engine Beech.
Here is a total WAG: it is possible they attached a RQ-170 airframe to the bottom of the plane where they have that fixture? It would have to not interfere with the landing gear, and it would certainly require the FAA status of the plane to be experimental instead of transport. I'm leaning towards that is not the function, but just tossing out the idea.
I always like to point out how nobody but nobody got a shot of the RQ-170 when it was at the TTR, even though the USAF announced in the press that they were standing up a new UAV squadron at Tonopah. The TTR is pretty easy to snoop on, either via Mount Diablo (no hike whatsoever) or Brainwash Butte (a decent drive and a half mile hike). This could lead into a rant on Swiss Mountain Bat, but I will stop it here.