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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 8 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 13700 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, 5935 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (3 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 13663 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, 512 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (3 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 13564 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, 1937 posts, RR: 9
Reply 3, posted (3 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 13564 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 8 months 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 13494 times:


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Photo © Bui Tuan Khiem - Vietnam Air Spotters



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 8 months 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 13432 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 8 months 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 13348 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 exactly 11 years ago today! , 358 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (3 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 12561 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 8 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 12543 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, 12136 posts, RR: 51
Reply 9, posted (3 years 8 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 12190 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 8 months 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 11970 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 8 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 11948 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, 412 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (1 year 12 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 8644 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, 1323 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (1 year 12 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 8620 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


“Without seeing Sicily it is impossible to understand Italy.Sicily is the key of everything.”-Goethe "Journey to Italy"
User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3519 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (1 year 12 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 8557 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, 12136 posts, RR: 51
Reply 15, posted (1 year 12 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 8518 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 onlineptrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3935 posts, RR: 18
Reply 16, posted (1 year 12 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 8408 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 12 months 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 8391 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, 701 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (1 year 12 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 8299 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 12 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 8143 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, 701 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (1 year 12 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 8090 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, 4806 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (1 year 12 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 7723 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
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Brandon Thetford




"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12136 posts, RR: 51
Reply 22, posted (1 year 12 months 13 hours ago) and read 7490 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, 1088 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (1 year 12 months 5 hours ago) and read 7419 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, 412 posts, RR: 4
Reply 24, posted (1 year 11 months 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 7134 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".


User currently offlinetxjim From United States of America, joined May 2008, 241 posts, RR: 0
Reply 25, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 6680 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.



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


User currently offlineHaveBlue From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 2106 posts, RR: 1
Reply 26, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 6653 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 22):
I believe that NASA uses the C-9 now as the Vomit Comit
Quoting 135mech (Reply 24):
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".

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 to the Smithsonian a few months ago... I had the chance to see them all that day leaving KSC.



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