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Mystery aircraft spotted on runway near Area 51

Posted on Thursday, 19 December, 2019 | Comment icon 16 comments

The base as it appeared back in 1990. Image Credit: United States Air Force
A number of unidentified aircraft have been spotted next to hangars at Tonopah Test Range Airport in Nevada.
Located at the northern edge of the Nevada Test and Training Range, Tonopah is not as well known as Area 51 but has itself been used to test a number of secretive experimental aircraft over the years.

Originally used to conduct flights of captured MiGs, the base was also involved in test flights of the Lockheed U-2 strategic reconnaissance aircraft, among others.

But what has the US Air Force been flying out of Tonopah in more recent years ?

Writing for The Drive, defense expert and author Tyler Rogoway recently acquired and published satellite images showing several identical, unidentified aircraft protruding from the hangars.

The image was taken by a Planet Labs' PlanetScope satellite on December 6th, 2019.
We are unable to publish the image directly however you can view it - here.

According to Rogoway, these particular hangars, which were originally built to house F-117's, contain at least one secretive aircraft that has been previously spotted on more than one occasion.

This particular image is unique because it shows an unusual level of activity.

It remains unclear exactly what this aircraft could be, however Rogoway speculates that it could be a derivative of the RQ-170 Sentinel or the US Air Force's secretive unmanned combat air vehicle.

Whatever the case, something interesting is clearly still being flown out of the base.

Source: The Drive | Comments (16)

Tags: Area 51, Black Project

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #7 Posted by Desertrat56 on 19 December, 2019, 16:42
Not to mention, it is a place used for experimental air craft.  So what, we can't identify it, that is the point.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Obviousman on 19 December, 2019, 20:43
Nope - don't see anything like that.   On the topic, though, go to Google Maps and pull up the Area 51 imagery. I see three airliners - probably 737s - but there is one aircraft to the north-west of the base I can't identify. It's either an F-15 or an F-16 but the image resolution isn't good enough for me to tell.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Dumbledore the Awesome on 20 December, 2019, 8:23
They caught a 737 taxying in off the runway. Just above the two on the apron there's a turboprop twin, and yes, the mystery black fighter, if you zoom in real close you lose all resolution of course but the configuration of wings, elevators and intakes beside the fuselage do look like a F-15, although in an unusual paint scheme. 
Comment icon #10 Posted by Scholar4Truth on 20 December, 2019, 18:32
All I see is possible a few Boeing aircraft and stealth fighter jet. Nothing odd at all. 
Comment icon #11 Posted by fred_mc on 22 December, 2019, 14:44
Mystery aircraft seen at a place known for mystery aircraft, i.e. new aircraft under development. Doesn't seem very mysterious I think.
Comment icon #12 Posted by jaylemurph on 23 December, 2019, 0:03
I don’t often agree with you, but I sure do here.  —Jaylemurph 
Comment icon #13 Posted by Obviousman on 23 December, 2019, 5:33
The turbo looks like a Metroliner but unsure how popular they are in the US.
Comment icon #14 Posted by Dumbledore the Awesome on 25 December, 2019, 21:24
The USAF has about a dozen used for surveillance.  Or could be the omnipresent Homeland Security, of course. 
Comment icon #15 Posted by Timothy on 25 December, 2019, 21:56
The article tells you what it is: NT-43A radar test bed (converted Boeing T-43 737-200). Callsign RAT55.  And for those who can’t see anything in the low-resolution image: It is clear when compared to other images that there is something in front of or protruding from the hangars.  Although what they are is impossible to tell without higher resolution images. 
Comment icon #16 Posted by Manwon Lender on 25 December, 2019, 22:19
I think they need to get a new Satelite, those images really really suck. I have seen Military Satilite images where you clearly read a name tag on a uniform. 

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