Sunday, 5 December 2010

F-117A 'Sabre 96' getting friendly with its tanker October 2010

Here's the F-117A '96' nestled under 'Sierra 99', KC-10 82-0191 from Travis.

The measurements of wingspan clearly in line with a standard F-117A at 43ft - the KC-10 is 165ft - so it is definitely not the supersize version that people say they saw in 2001. 

Whether it's actually tanking or hiding, who knows, but two days later when 'Sabre 96' was operating with 'Sierra 99', this time Travis KC-10 85-0029, he was told to 'break lock' which suggests it was refuelling.  Why it needed to tank before RTB is another matter given Groom Lake has plentiful fuel supplies....I'm assumng that it uses standard fuel.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Sunday, 7 November 2010

a bit of audio of Sabre 96 F-117A and its playmates

From TTR on 7-Oct.

Sabre 11 is N105TB Gulfstream II that departs the TTR at 1300 local time.  At the same time, Sierra 99 KC-10 85-0029 joined the test with Sabre 96 (F-117A?  same callsign and voice as 5-Oct) and Sabre 60 helicopter which went across TTR to Area 19B.  All working Ramrod on 337.5.

Also active were Cannon 1 and 2 A-10s in 'the Valley of Death' seen from Tikaboo Peak on 6-Oct-10 but also heard on 5-Oct-10.  Assumed not to be part of the test.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Side aspect of the F-117A near Groom Lake in October 2010

From a different angle.  Messing around in photo manipulation software it looks like there could be a red fintip flash on the Nighthawk.  Can't see a tail code though. 

The white star and bar under the port wing is clearly evident.  Some archive photos have a white national insignia, I'm just surprised it's not toned down grey.  But maybe this ones always been a test example?

It was at 20000feet or more, so forgive the atmospherics!

A little bit of video of the F-117A near Groom Lake on 5-Oct-10

There's plenty more....

MIT Gulfstream II N105TB over the TTR 7-Oct-10

N105TB departed from Tonopah Test Range at 1300, callsign Sabre 11, climbed to medium levels and operated E-W racetrack patterns at 25000-28000ft over the Groom Lake area.  A helicopter callsign Sabre 60 and (not visually confirmed but assumed....same voice, same callsign) F-117A Sabre 96 were part of the test with the KC-10 tanking the F-117A before doing a couple of touch n goes at the TTR.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Flying in daylight suggests that whatever the test is can't be too secret, be it testing the aircraft, the seekers or just keeping current. 

F-117A #831 was the last one to leave Palmdale on 11-Aug-08 supposedly for the TTR.  Maybe it didn't go there at all (anyone watch it arrive at TTR?).

We were not the first to spot a F-117A flying round the ranges as there's a report on of a sighting early morning during Red Flag