MYSTERY AIRCRAFT needs to be identified!
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#1: MYSTERY AIRCRAFT needs to be identified! Author: JG300-StoopyLocation: Group W bench PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:22 pm
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Heya Gents! Requesting the assistance of the collective aircraft experts here to identify an aircraft spotted locally today. Wife took these pictures outside her work and is asking me what this plane might be. I'm stumped!

This was just on the north side of Manassas Regional Airport (KHEF) at about 1:10PM EDT today. She says it was big enough to not be a single seater, rather quiet, flying very slow, going around the airport as if in the pattern. Dark grey in color like a military aircraft. And "places where it could carry bombs", so weapons stations.

What's confusing to me is the second picture where a very large vertical stabilizer looks to be present but also a VERY pronounced amount of dihedral in the wings or even Polyhedral. Have no idea what that is.

I enlarged the sections from both shots and put them side by side below. From the first (side) shot it doesn't look like anything too remarkable and maybe could be a Predator UAV but the second shot where it seems to be a 3/4 view from behind has me really wondering. That wing and stabilizer layout is just weird. We are just outside Quantico Marine base.

I showed her picture of an MQ-9 Reaper and she vehemently denies that's what it could have been. Due to the wing being too skinny, this thing had a substantial wing, was clearly a jet, and had a pointed nose and not bulbous like a UAV. Also said this thing was BEEFY, not skinny wings like a normal UAV.

So, you experts, your opinions on what this might be?



Gotta hand it to the wife she finds cool airplanes flying over her work parking lot., Years ago she saw, and described to me, the last flying Heinkel HE-111 that was being flown by the Confederate Air Force when it was out here for an airshow...this was literally months before it was lost in a crash.

#2: Re: MYSTERY AIRCRAFT needs to be identified! Author: JG300-StoopyLocation: Group W bench PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:16 pm
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15 views and no takers eh? That's OK, anyone reading this might find this to be a very cool answer to the mystery...(this will be a multi-part post because for some weird reason, any text I add after the first picture gets all corrupted and caddywampus...sorry)

Anyway I was compelled to find out what this thing could be, because who doesn't like a mystery. After giving up on drone variants and going through tons of aircraft images I decided to be somewhat intelligent and see if the flight showed up on FlightAware.com. I looked at Arrivals and Departures for the general timeframe at KHEF and, Lo and Behold, an unnamed aircraft showed up within 2 minutes of the time my wife said (1:10PM):


#3: Re: MYSTERY AIRCRAFT needs to be identified! Author: JG300-StoopyLocation: Group W bench PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:19 pm
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Clicking on the tail number revealed the track of the flight before it landed and it looks like someone was having some fun! It wasn't over Quantico, which is more to the East, but was hooning around the woods outside of Culpepper VA, where the CIA may or may not have some type of presence, or so I have heard...



Last edited by JG300-Stoopy on Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:27 pm; edited 2 times in total

#4: Re: MYSTERY AIRCRAFT needs to be identified! Author: JG300-StoopyLocation: Group W bench PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:21 pm
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I clicked on the Registration link and got this interesting bit of detail, note the Airworthiness Class is specified as "Experimental/Normal". Hmmmmm......


#5: Re: MYSTERY AIRCRAFT needs to be identified! Author: JG300-StoopyLocation: Group W bench PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:21 pm
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OK, so what, exactly, *is* a "2017 Textron Aviation Inc 530" anyway? Well, turns out it's a pretty slick little beast! And does that profile pretty much match the second fuzzy picture in my post above? Oh hell yeah!


#6: Re: MYSTERY AIRCRAFT needs to be identified! Author: JG300-StoopyLocation: Group W bench PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:22 pm
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Pretty gorgeous little bird if you ask me. Billed as a "Light Attack / Ground Support / Surveillance" aircraft:


#7: Re: MYSTERY AIRCRAFT needs to be identified! Author: JG300-StoopyLocation: Group W bench PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:22 pm
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Here's that straight wing planform that you can barely make out in the first fuzzy blowup in my original post:


#8: Re: MYSTERY AIRCRAFT needs to be identified! Author: JG300-StoopyLocation: Group W bench PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:23 pm
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Dig the motto painted on the nose of this "Scorpion":


#9: Re: MYSTERY AIRCRAFT needs to be identified! Author: JG300-StoopyLocation: Group W bench PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:23 pm
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OK so that's all well and good but there's no real verification here unless we can find a pic of the ACTUAL N532TX Reg. number and see if it's the real deal. After some digging, I sure as heck found it, and it turns out to be the coolest shot of all!

I really am quite taken with this badass little hotrod. I've been following its flights today on FlightAware and notice it flew down to Charlottesville VA and back. Keepin' an eye on things down there and ready to put the hurt on any armband-wearin' insurgents I bet Wink




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