Im sure this may have been discussed about before but here is a thread about it.
Has there been any recent sightings of this aircraft?, It is supposed to have replaced the SR-71 Blackbird since 1990 and has been around since the 1980s. It was most notably sighted by a former Royal Observer Corps member on the Galveston Key Oil Rig circa 1989.
Post by Dave Homewood on Sept 5, 2008 14:58:20 GMT 12
Two of my best mates, who are brothers, swear they saw one fly over low right over top of them as they sat on the roof of their house in rural Oxfordshire in the mid-1990's. Both are aircraft nuts, and knew instantly they were looking at an Aurora because it was a perfect triangle shape - just like that refuelling shot you've posted. They said it was dead silent, and looked as if it had just taken off from a nearby USAF base, which from memory they said was Fairford?
It was very active during Gulf War 1 (1990-91). The US wouldn't even let the Brits in on their secret back then, so the QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) in the UK was scrambled many times for the unidentified inbound/outbound to Germany - Bitburg, I think?.
Like the SR-71, it needed a refuel after airborne before hitting its straps, but the F-4 and Tornado F3's couldnt keep up after the refuel was over. Apparently the acceleration was spectacular!
Obviously, by the mid-90's the secret was a little more open, but confined to USAF bases in the UK.
Interesting pic with the F-111's. I doubt they were an escort, but it would make a great cover story, given the swept triangular planform.
There are as many convincing arguments for it to exist as there are for it not to!
There is a good argument for its non-existence in 'Dark Eagles', Curtiss Peebles history of black aircraft.
Skunk Works head Ben Rich specifically denied its existence in his autobiography.
But then he would say that
I think there was a project of some kind that existed (and may still) that generated the sightings of the 80's and 90's. Dave your friends sightings sound valid, and even more so the one by a member of the Royal Observer Corps, who you would hope to be able to recognise an F-111 if he saw one.
A common explanation for some of the sightings is an F-111 with the wings swept back, but this isn't that credible at times, especially for the ones involving refuelling aircraft.
Was it the Aurora? Who knows?
Don't forget there was an incident of sorts at a British airbase (possibly Boscombe Down) supposedly involving an accident with a black aircraft in the early 1990's as well.
Another point to remember is that the SR-71 represents 40+ year old technology, which is still ahead of its time in the white world. It would be strange if development in that high altitude high speed arena ceased with the Blackbird.
Aurora may be closely related to a white project, the NASP hypersonic transport, which died a death in the 1990's. The speculation is that one helped in the development of the other, and when the NASP was publicly cancelled, it continued as a black programme.
Given the record of the F-117, I have no doubt at all that if a black project is meant to stay secret it will. The F-117's existence was speculated from the late 70's onward, but by the time it was really being discussed in the mid 80's the aircraft had already been in service for a couple of years. Its shape was only revealed when it was decided to be.