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The Top-Secret Warplanes of Area 51 (PopSci.com) {Aurora, Groom Lake}

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eppur_se_muova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 06:44 PM
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The Top-Secret Warplanes of Area 51 (PopSci.com) {Aurora, Groom Lake}
By Bill Sweetman | October 2006

On a trip to las vegas in 2004, observing from my east-facing hotel room in the pyramidal Luxor Hotel at daybreak, I watched a fleet of six unmarked 737s make commuter flights to nowhere. These aircraft depart every weekday morning from a tidy, anonymous terminal on the western side of McCarran International Airport. A long line of cars pours into a 1,600-spot parking lot as the jets pull away from the terminal, taxi to the runways, and head out into the desert sky. At the end of the day, the shuttle flights return and the lot empties. The passengers go home and tell their families nothing about what happened at work that day.
***
...Those unmarked 737s were ferrying employees to the flight-test center near Groom Lake, Nevada, known to the public as Area 51. The gray airplane is Polecat, a next-generation stealth unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)--Cappuccio's video was his sly way of unveiling the program. Those earthquakes? Quite possibly sonic booms from a long-suspected hypersonic attack vehicle, a sleek aircraft that has consumed the imaginations of black-project enthusiasts and military analysts, including me, for two decades. Though seemingly dormant in recent years, the program appears to be on the move again, and with a renewed vigor that has me feeling, soewhat unsettliingly, a bit like the aerospace industry's own Ahab.
***

***
more: http://www.popsci.com/popsci/aviationspace/95e16f096bd8...

Long article, with a "photo" gallery of *highly speculative* artists' renderings of possible exotic aircraft under development.
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Fox Mulder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 06:47 PM
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1. Interesting article...
I'm going to have to bookmark this and read it later.
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Redstone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 06:49 PM
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2. Boy, talk about recycling. This article is almost word-for-word a repeat
of another article I read YEARS ago.

Redstone
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yourout Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 06:49 PM
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3. The SR71 was retired for a reason.
Satellites can not be moved alot without running out of propellant and there is no way we would have retired the Blackbird unless we had something better.
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BushOut06 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 06:55 PM
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4. Our tax dollars, hard at work
Anyone else find it upsetting that billions of our tax dollars are being spent on such unnecessary projects? It might make for neat TV specials, but what do we really need hyper-sonic, anti-grav figher jets for? Unless there's an extraterrestrial threat that we're unaware of, I'd love to see these super-secret military projects shut down, and that money go towards domestic welfare projects. Might be nice if we could shore up those levees, you know!
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