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Possible US Military A340 Flying Over & Around EFD  
User currently offlineindcwby From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 135 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 13205 times:

First time posting, long time aviation enthusiast!

On 12/20/2010, between 2pm and 4pm, I saw what looked like an all white US Military Airbus A340 flying around Ellington Field. It had the blue circle w/ white star on red and white stripes. (If I knew what to call it, i would call it as it is)

What made this A340 different was something attached to the top of the a/c near the front about 25 feet from the nose. I spotted her near Hwy 3 (Old Galveston Rd) and on a different approach near Beltway 8. Would anyone here know what I saw?

26 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineUnited1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 5930 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (3 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 13168 times:

Are you sure it wasn't a KC-135 (or one of the military 707 derivatives) as the US Military has no A340s....


Semper Fi - PowerPoint makes us stupid.
User currently offlinewarden145 From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 501 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (3 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 13069 times:

Actually, with the "thing" attached to the top of the aircraft, could it have been an E-3 AWACS? Or, for that matter, any chance it could have been NASA's 747 shuttle-carrier aircraft?

I don't think ANY branch of the U.S. military owns anything built by Airbus...



ETOPS = Engine Turns Off, Passengers Swim
User currently offlineDL_mech From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 1926 posts, RR: 9
Reply 3, posted (3 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 13069 times:

E-6B?



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[Edited 2010-12-20 17:01:18]


This plane is built to withstand anything... except a bad pilot.
User currently offlinebeertrucker From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 403 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (3 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 12999 times:


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How about this? This is what I think you saw.



Fly HI
User currently offlineindcwby From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 135 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (3 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 12937 times:

Quoting United1 (Reply 1):
Are you sure it wasn't a KC-135 (or one of the military 707 derivatives) as the US Military has no A340s....

I'm pretty sure it wasn't a KC-135. It didn't have any US Air Force writing on the a/c and also completely white. The tail didn't look like the KC-135 and this looked longer like an A340. However, this a/c was modified because it had something on the top.


User currently offlineindcwby From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 135 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (3 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 12853 times:

Quoting beertrucker (Reply 4):
How about this? This is what I think you saw.

Sorry, I know my 747s, A380s, and most commercial a/c.

Quoting warden145 (Reply 2):
Actually, with the "thing" attached to the top of the aircraft, could it have been an E-3 AWACS? Or, for that matter, any chance it could have been NASA's 747 shuttle-carrier aircraft?

Wasn't the NASA 747 Shuttle Carrier, they have unique tail configuration. Also not an E-3 AWAC.

Quoting DL_mech (Reply 3):
E-6B?

DL_mech, looks like you got it. The only thing is this was all white, with no writing whatsoever except for the logo towards the back. Also should give credit to United1 since this is a 707 derivative.


User currently offlineftrguy From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 358 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (3 years 7 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 12066 times:

Based on what you said, I'm about 99% sure it was an E-6B. Having flown them, we would go down there quite frequently...

User currently offlinehka098 From United States of America, joined Oct 2010, 556 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (3 years 7 months 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 12048 times:

I am quite sure the U.S. Military does not operate any Airbus types.

User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12128 posts, RR: 52
Reply 9, posted (3 years 7 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 11695 times:

The E-6B Mercury (B-707-700) is not a USAF aircraft, it is USN. All of them are all white, but a combined USN and USAF crew flys them. Most of them have the word "NAVY' painted in light gray, and on a white background it is difficult to see. But look at the wingtips, it is not the 'standard' B-707 wingtip, both have comm gear attached.

User currently offlineSSGRRiley From South Korea, joined Oct 2010, 4 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (3 years 7 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 11475 times:

Quoting ftrguy (Reply 7):
Based on what you said, I'm about 99% sure it was an E-6B. Having flown them, we would go down there quite frequently...

This.

Quoting hka098 (Reply 8):
I am quite sure the U.S. Military does not operate any Airbus types.

I'm 100% sure.


User currently offlinehka098 From United States of America, joined Oct 2010, 556 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (3 years 7 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 11453 times:

Quoting SSGRRiley (Reply 10):
I'm 100% sure.

Agreed, but in my experience nothing is 100% except death, taxes, and politicians telling lies.


User currently offline135mech From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 411 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 8149 times:
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Quoting indcwby (Reply 6):
DL_mech, looks like you got it. The only thing is this was all white, with no writing whatsoever except for the logo towards the back. Also should give credit to United1 since this is a 707 derivative

And as KCTopBoom said they are all white. I have actually seen a few that have what you described...absolutely no markings whatsoever other than the stars and stripes and in the standard all white paint. Tinker AFB is one of the "locations"' for them and has quite the collection of them.


User currently offlineFlyingSicilian From Italy, joined Mar 2009, 1294 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 8125 times:

you should see EFD in the last few days, a basic airshow of Isaac evacs on statis and Herc Hunters and USCG flying missions out of EFD


Ciao Windjet mi manchi
User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3502 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 8062 times:
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NASA also operates a 135 and a DC-8


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[Edited 2012-08-30 12:55:20]


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User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12128 posts, RR: 52
Reply 15, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 8023 times:

Quoting SSGRRiley (Reply 10):
Quoting hka098 (Reply 8):I am quite sure the U.S. Military does not operate any Airbus types.
I'm 100% sure.

The US Army flies the UH-72A Lakota, which is an Airbus product. The army has plans for 345 of them, and about 170 are on contract now. Also the US Navy Test Pilot School flies about 5 of them as the UH-72B.


User currently offlineptrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3905 posts, RR: 19
Reply 16, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 7913 times:

No, it's an Eurocopter product. Same parent company, different company.


The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
User currently offlinerc135x From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 7896 times:

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 14):
NASA also operates a 135 and a DC-8

I believe NASA no longer operates any KC-135s.


User currently offlineSSTeve From United States of America, joined Dec 2011, 693 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 7804 times:

Quoting rc135x (Reply 17):
I believe NASA no longer operates any KC-135s.

Probably not:
http://airbornescience.nasa.gov/aircraft


User currently offlinerc135x From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 7648 times:

An interesting list of NASA aerial assets. Are the T-38Ns no longer part of NASA or is their absence from this list an oversight?

User currently offlineSSTeve From United States of America, joined Dec 2011, 693 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (1 year 10 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 7595 times:

It's clearly not *all* of NASA's planes, which is why I said "probably." The modified 747SP SOFIA isn't on there, and neither are Shuttle Carriers or Super Guppy. However since airborne science operates the DC-8, U-2, and P-3, it's got a lot of variety.

User currently offlineDevilfish From Philippines, joined Jan 2006, 4776 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 7228 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 9):
The E-6B Mercury (B-707-700) is not a USAF aircraft, it is USN. All of them are all white, but a combined USN and USAF crew flys them. Most of them have the word "NAVY' painted in light gray, and on a white background it is difficult to see. But look at the wingtips, it is not the 'standard' B-707 wingtip, both have comm gear attached.

A closer view.....


6B-Mercury/2154122/L/" target="_blank">View Large 6B-Mercury/2154122/M/" target="_blank">View Medium
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Photo © Brandon Thetford




"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12128 posts, RR: 52
Reply 22, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 6995 times:

Quoting rc135x (Reply 17):
I believe NASA no longer operates any KC-135s.

Correct, the KC-135s have retired. I believe that NASA uses the C-9 now as the Vomit Comit

Quoting SSTeve (Reply 18):
Probably not:
http://airbornescience.nasa.gov/aircraft

A lot of aircraft are missing from that list.


User currently offlinechecksixx From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1078 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 6924 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 15):
The US Army flies the UH-72A Lakota, which is an Airbus product.

EADS (European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company) is the parent company. Under EADS there is Airbus, Eurocopter and others. The UH-72 is a Eurocopter product and has zero to do with Airbus. More specifically, it is an American Eurocopter product.


User currently offline135mech From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 411 posts, RR: 4
Reply 24, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 6639 times:
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Quoting SSTeve (Reply 18):
Quoting rc135x (Reply 17):
I believe NASA no longer operates any KC-135s.

Probably not:
http://airbornescience.nasa.gov/aircraft

Sadly, both the DC-8's and the KC-135's have been retired and they are flying the 757 (and possibly the DC-9 as KCTopBoom said) as the current "Vomit Comets".


25 txjim : Easy to tell if the trailing wire is extended! Might catch sight of one at OKC these days, mods taking place and the bird is occasionally outside
26 HaveBlue : Correct, that DC-9 (C-9) is used by NASA as the Vomit Comet and was also the Pathfinder aircraft used to fly ahead of the SCA when the Discovery went
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