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Midair Refuling Over Cleveland Or What Was It?  
User currently offlinerohanghosh From United States of America, joined Apr 2011, 48 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 6875 times:

This is so random but last evening, at exactly 7pm there was a low flyby of two aircrafts one on top of the other..

One looked like either a 747 or a aircraft with 4 engines (not a Galaxy or a C17). The other had four jets too. They flew closely together, one on top of the other (the other had 4 engines too). They flew low and slow right over Cuyahoga County Airport heading east. Did anyone else see it too? What was it?

22 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineFrequentFlyKid From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1206 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 6843 times:

I was in Willoughby last night and outside most of the night. I didn't see anything. Interesting.

User currently offlinerohanghosh From United States of America, joined Apr 2011, 48 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 6775 times:

I was playing golf at Airport Greens, we were on the 5th hole in the back 9 when we heard the rumbling. Me and my buddy looked up and both of us at the same time said "what in the world is that". I generally carry my video cam around but I didn't this time as I was playing golf. And both of us thought it was so weird!!! But, FOR SURE, we saw a 747 (or something with 4 jets) one on top of the other in very close formation. I have to get an answer to this..i posted on yahoo and other sites..I will let you know if I can get someone to tell us what it was...

[Edited 2011-06-10 07:01:24]

[Edited 2011-06-10 07:07:27]

User currently offlineIAHFLYR From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 4790 posts, RR: 22
Reply 3, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 6731 times:

Seriously doubt refueling would be done at low level.

While thinking of different crazy ideas how about the Shuttle on top of the NASA B747?   

[Edited 2011-06-10 07:10:41]


Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
User currently offlinerohanghosh From United States of America, joined Apr 2011, 48 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 6683 times:

Quoting IAHFLYR (Reply 3):
Shuttle on top of the NASA B747?

OMG dude, maybe thats what it was. Because, at one point we could not see the "plane" on top (they we re that close together. HOLT CRAP!!! NICE!!!


User currently offline777STL From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 3545 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks ago) and read 6499 times:

Logistically, it doesn't make much sense. Endeavour is going to its final resting place in California, although I'm sure it isn't ready for transport yet nor do I think such a flight track would take it over Ohio from Florida to California. It appears the same story is true for Discovery as well, while it completed its final flight a few months ago, I'm skeptical that's it been converted to a museum quality piece in such a short amount of time. Everything I've read suggests that the process to convert a working orbiter to a museum piece is quite invasive and time consuming so I doubt either is ready to go to its final destination.

Obviously, Atlantis is still at Kennedy preparing for its final launch and it's been there since before Endeavour launched its final mission. It likely wasn't the Enterprise either as I believe it's still at the Smithsonian until it's replaced by Discovery, whereupon it will go to the Intrepid in NYC.

More than likely, you saw two military aircraft flying in formation, or possibly a mid-air refueling.



PHX based
User currently offlineIAHFLYR From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 4790 posts, RR: 22
Reply 6, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 6437 times:

Quoting 777STL (Reply 5):
or possibly a mid-air refueling.

Seriously don't think that would happen at low altitude, but anything is possible.

Quoting 777STL (Reply 5):
Logistically, it doesn't make much sense.

Told ya a crazy idea.



Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
User currently offlineH53Epilot From Israel, joined Mar 2004, 177 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 6278 times:

Quoting 777STL (Reply 5):
More than likely, you saw two military aircraft flying in formation, or possibly a mid-air refueling.

Aerial refueling is performed in a military training area which are generally located in unpopulated areas. You won't find it happening over large population centers.


User currently offline777STL From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 3545 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 6240 times:

Quoting H53Epilot (Reply 7):
Aerial refueling is performed in a military training area which are generally located in unpopulated areas. You won't find it happening over large population centers.

I figured as much.



PHX based
User currently offlinedragon6172 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 1202 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 6202 times:

Geez man, that golf course is right off the end of the runway and the only thing you picked out was four engines!!


Phrogs Phorever
User currently offlineas739x From United States of America, joined Apr 2003, 6086 posts, RR: 24
Reply 10, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 6187 times:

Quoting H53Epilot (Reply 7):

Somewhere there is a map showing the designated areas for mid-air refueling practice. Actually NE Ohio is in one of those training areas. I have seen multiple refueling when I loved back there. I however I was down in Stark County which is less populated then the above mentioned Cuyahoga. And low and slow as described doesn't sound right.



"Some pilots avoid storm cells and some play connect the dots!"
User currently offlinedragon6172 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 1202 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 6168 times:

Quoting H53Epilot (Reply 7):
Aerial refueling is performed in a military training area which are generally located in unpopulated areas. You won't find it happening over large population centers.

Mostly true. I have seen formations close enough to simulate aerial refueling at airshows. They just do not actually connect. There does not appear to be any airshows in the area this weekend though, and not sure if they would pick a random airport to do practice fly-bys at.



Phrogs Phorever
User currently offlinerohanghosh From United States of America, joined Apr 2011, 48 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 6012 times:

Quoting dragon6172 (Reply 9):
Geez man, that golf course is right off the end of the runway and the only thing you picked out was four engines!!

It (the 747s or the craft with 4 jets) did not take off from the Cuyahoga County Airport rather we were playing golf right there off the airport. The planes were flying overhead. It was so cool I honestly wish I had a cam, never seen anything like it.


User currently onlineflyinryan99 From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 2000 posts, RR: 12
Reply 13, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 5981 times:

Quoting as739x (Reply 10):
Somewhere there is a map showing the designated areas for mid-air refueling practice. Actually NE Ohio is in one of those training areas. I have seen multiple refueling when I loved back there. I however I was down in Stark County which is less populated then the above mentioned Cuyahoga. And low and slow as described doesn't sound right.

I remember watching planes probably in the mid flight levels fly over my house (western end of Lake Erie in Toledo) about to join up and do it out over Lake Erie...


User currently offlinewarden145 From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 501 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 5972 times:

I know what it was!

You witnessed something very rare...a part of the mating ritual of the Silver-Bellied Gas Sucker. They are normally very secretive in this phase, so the ritual has almost never been witnessed by man.


(sorry, couldn't help myself    )



ETOPS = Engine Turns Off, Passengers Swim
User currently offlinetitanmiller From United States of America, joined May 2006, 89 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 5708 times:

Quoting 777STL (Reply 8):
Aerial refueling is performed in a military training area which are generally located in unpopulated areas. You won't find it happening over large population centers.

Absolutely not true. Air refueling tracks can and do go over populated areas. There is even the option to do "random" air refueling where it is point to point which can put you directly overhead anywhere. Also, if you are taking a group of fighters point to point you will fly on regular jet routes like any other air traffic (with a suitable altitude block of course).

Have a look at this map if you want to see some common areas for refueling. http://www.milaircomms.com/images/refuel_tracks_large.jpg


User currently offlinemoose135 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 2294 posts, RR: 10
Reply 16, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 5689 times:

Thanks for posting that link, Titan. I've saved that jpeg "somewhere", but now I have a fresh copy. I can't tell you how many times we ran up and down AR110 coming out of KGUS!


KC-135 - Passing gas and taking names!
User currently offlineVenom831 From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 25 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 5423 times:

Beat me to it titan  

User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12128 posts, RR: 52
Reply 18, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 5347 times:

Quoting IAHFLYR (Reply 6):
Quoting 777STL (Reply 5):
or possibly a mid-air refueling.

Seriously don't think that would happen at low altitude, but anything is possible.

Low level refuelings began with a few select units in the early 1980s.

Quoting H53Epilot (Reply 7):
Aerial refueling is performed in a military training area which are generally located in unpopulated areas. You won't find it happening over large population centers.
Quoting titanmiller (Reply 15):
Absolutely not true. Air refueling tracks can and do go over populated areas. There is even the option to do "random" air refueling where it is point to point which can put you directly overhead anywhere. Also, if you are taking a group of fighters point to point you will fly on regular jet routes like any other air traffic (with a suitable altitude block of course).

Correct.

If the second 'airplane' was monted directly atop the first, it could have been the Boeing Phantom Ray. They are also transported by the NASA B-747 Shuttle Carriers.

If it was two 4 engined aircraft refueling, it could have been a KC-135 refueling a KC/RC-135, E-4, E-8, or E-6 (possibly an E-3 but no roto dome was mentioned).


User currently offline4holer From United States of America, joined Feb 2002, 2997 posts, RR: 9
Reply 19, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 5301 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 18):
If the second 'airplane' was monted directly atop the first, it could have been the Boeing Phantom Ray. They are also transported by the NASA B-747 Shuttle Carriers.

I think the shuttle carriers show up on flightaware, so if the OP checked that with negative results, it would lean against that possibility.



Ghosts appear and fade away.....................
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12128 posts, RR: 52
Reply 20, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 5118 times:

Quoting 4holer (Reply 19):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 18):
If the second 'airplane' was monted directly atop the first, it could have been the Boeing Phantom Ray. They are also transported by the NASA B-747 Shuttle Carriers.

I think the shuttle carriers show up on flightaware, so if the OP checked that with negative results, it would lean against that possibility.

I don't think it shows up if it is transporting the Phamtom Ray, as that is a military contractor flight.

http://www.boeing.com/Features/2010/12/bds_phantom_ray_12_10_10.html

Apparently N905NA is the only carrier modified by Boeing and NASA to transport the Ray. The two shuttle carriers are easily distingushed from each other, the former AA airplane, N905NA has only two windows on each side of the upper deck hump, and the former JL airplane, N911NA has 5 on each side.


User currently offline4holer From United States of America, joined Feb 2002, 2997 posts, RR: 9
Reply 21, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 4909 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 20):
I don't think it shows up if it is transporting the Phamtom Ray, as that is a military contractor flight.

Not long ago, it was flying the Phantom Ray from from (?) St. Louis to California which was available on flightaware. I know coz it was scheduled to make a stop near me in Phoenix-Mesa Gateway but in the end diverted and flew directly to CA. (per flightaware) Maybe this flight was an exception, but it was there.

But as for the OP, I think he saw a KC-135 refueling something exactly as you said above.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 18):
If it was two 4 engined aircraft refueling, it could have been a KC-135 refueling a KC/RC-135, E-4, E-8, or E-6 (possibly an E-3 but no roto dome was mentioned).



Ghosts appear and fade away.....................
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12128 posts, RR: 52
Reply 22, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 4699 times:

Quoting 4holer (Reply 21):
Not long ago, it was flying the Phantom Ray from from (?) St. Louis to California which was available on flightaware.

Thanks, I didn't know that. It does not make any sense for it to be flying up near CLE, anyway.


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