Re: Will the "RQ-180" be publicly unveiled next year?

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Message posted by Vahe Demirjian (Member since 04/28/2022) on December 01, 2023 at 8:32:24 PST:

The US Air Force revealed the F-117's existence two years after the crash of the production F-117 with serial number 81-792 near Bakersfield on July 11, 1986. The F-117 was publicly unveiled just two years after the DoD confirmed its existence.

By contrast, because of or in spite of the crash of one of the nine P-ISR ("RQ-180") pre-production aircraft in December 2016 not being mentioned in the press until it was reported by AW&ST in late 2019, the US Air Force seems to have neglected to release grainy photographs of the "RQ-180" during testing over Groom Lake because a few sub-systems developed for this aircraft most probably were utilized for the B-21 Raider ahead of the B-21's critical design review and the Air Force felt it convenient not to put the B-21 program in some minor jeopardy by choosing to keep quiet about the "RQ-180" crash in early December 2016. Since the B-21 began flight tests last month and the "RQ-180" first flew in August 2010, the USAF could publicly unveil the first "RQ-180" EMD test vehicle at a ceremony at Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale next year because any details about operational deployment of production "RQ-180" aircraft remain confidential.

The prospect of the USAF publicly unveiling one of the P-ISR ("RQ-180") test vehicles at Air Force Plant 42 and displaying it at either the National Air Force Museum or Western Museum of Flight next year cannot be ruled out because even though flight tests of the Tacit Blue ended in 1985, the US Air Force waited until April 1996 to publicly reveal the Tacit Blue aircraft.

In Reply to: Re: Will the posted by Don on November 30, 2023 at 17:35:04 PST:


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