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Black Starlifter?  
User currently offlineCannibalZ3 From United States of America, joined May 2001, 392 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 6 months 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 5122 times:

In the book 'Ghost Wars' Steve Coll describes offhand the black C-141 Starlifter that William Casey, at the time the director of the CIA, took back and forth to Pakistan while supplying the mujaheddin there. Does anyone here know anything about this plane and what happened to it?

15 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3433 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (5 years 6 months 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 5110 times:
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Quoting CannibalZ3 (Thread starter):
black C-141 Starlifter

I suspect the term "black" refers to the nature of the mission rather than color the aircraft was painted. A plain jane C-141 would be a fairly low viz way for a high level gov't official to travel - particularly if the aircraft was operating where 141 operations were routine...



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User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12060 posts, RR: 52
Reply 2, posted (5 years 6 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 5103 times:

There was, for a short time, an all black (color) RC-135. I am not sure if it was a "V" or "W" model. I doubt it was a "S" model.

User currently offlineCannibalz3 From United States of America, joined May 2001, 392 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (5 years 6 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 5074 times:

KC, know why it was painted black, and where I could find pictures of it? In fact, could you PM me?

Also, though Coll doesn't talk much about the C-141 except in passing (great book about the CIA in Afghanistan, btw), it's clear he means black the color as opposed to 'black' the opaque use thereof.


User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3433 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (5 years 6 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 5066 times:
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Quoting Cannibalz3 (Reply 3):
Also, though Coll doesn't talk much about the C-141 except in passing (great book about the CIA in Afghanistan, btw), it's clear he means black the color as opposed to 'black' the opaque use thereof.

What would be the point of a C-141 painted black? It would stick out like a sore thumb...



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User currently offlineStudeDave From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 463 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (5 years 6 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 5056 times:



Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 4):
What would be the point of a C-141 painted black? It would stick out like a sore thumb...

 no  Not in the dark it wouldn't!!!  wideeyed   covereyes   shhh   ghost 
 scratchchin  I'm sure you'd still be able to hear it, though...

 duck 



Classic planes, Classic trains, and Studebakers~~ what else is there???
User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3433 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (5 years 6 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 5047 times:
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Quoting StudeDave (Reply 5):
Not in the dark it wouldn't!!!

There's the small matter of the rest of the day.....  Smile



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User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12060 posts, RR: 52
Reply 7, posted (5 years 6 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 4965 times:

It would not make sense to fly a black airplane in that part of the world (Pakistan or within about 25 degrees of the equator). Depending on which direction you are flying, you could only be in dark night conditions for as little as 6 hours.

Most big black airplanes would fly near the poles to make maximum use of night conditions. Then they will be parked in a hanger during daylight conditions. Black airplanes stand out on ramps, too.


User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3433 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (5 years 6 months 21 hours ago) and read 4885 times:
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A C-141 in a recent - it faded badly - European One scheme might be mistaken as a "black" airplane.


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User currently offlineGsosbee From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 825 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (5 years 6 months 20 hours ago) and read 4860 times:



Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 1):
I suspect the term "black" refers to the nature of the mission rather than color the aircraft was painted.

It was a mission description that lasted until the Russians departed.


User currently offlineRC135X From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (5 years 6 months 14 hours ago) and read 4753 times:



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 2):
There was, for a short time, an all black (color) RC-135. I am not sure if it was a "V" or "W" model. I doubt it was a "S" model.

I am not at all familiar with any all-black RC-135 or reconnaissance KC-135 variant, even for a brief period. Several recon and testbed variants had black wings and/or fuselage tops or fronts, but I simply cannot recall recall any all black (color) RC-135.

I would be very pleased to learn more about this specific airplane and any other details you might provide.

Thanks


User currently offlineRC135X From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (5 years 6 months 14 hours ago) and read 4748 times:



Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 1):
I suspect the term "black" refers to the nature of the mission rather than color the aircraft was painted.

There were, of course, special mission C-141s which were unofficially referred to as MC-141s, although I haven't seen any documentation that this was formal (it could have been but I have not seen it). The airplanes were equipped for low-level operations and had some distinguishing features which, if I recall from a very brief article and photo which appeared in an old edition of World Air Power Journal, could have been FLIR or other electro-optical sensors and/or ESM/RHAW/ECM fairings. This would surely have been a so-called "black" program, but I cannot imagine the need for such special equipment to fly VIPs into Pakistan in an airplane so configured.


User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3433 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (5 years 6 months 13 hours ago) and read 4717 times:
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Quoting RC135X (Reply 11):
There were, of course, special mission C-141s which were unofficially referred to as MC-141s,



Quoting RC135X (Reply 11):
This would surely have been a so-called "black" program

The SOLL II 141s were readily identifiable by the additional warts on the nose. I never heard them called MC-141, just SOLL II. Nothing "black" about these airplanes....


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User currently offlineF14D4ever From United States of America, joined May 2005, 319 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (5 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 4455 times:



Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 12):
The SOLL II 141s were readily identifiable by the additional warts on the nose. I never heard them called MC-141, just SOLL II.

I'm sorry, I must have been sleeping. You lost me with the SOLL reference. What does that stand for?



"He is risen, as He said."
User currently offlineFlyf15 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (5 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 4424 times:



Quoting F14D4ever (Reply 13):

I'm sorry, I must have been sleeping. You lost me with the SOLL reference. What does that stand for?

Special Ops Low Level...


User currently offlineAFHokie From United States of America, joined May 2004, 224 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (5 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 3810 times:



Quoting RC135X (Reply 10):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 2):
There was, for a short time, an all black (color) RC-135. I am not sure if it was a "V" or "W" model. I doubt it was a "S" model.

I am not at all familiar with any all-black RC-135 or reconnaissance KC-135 variant, even for a brief period. Several recon and testbed variants had black wings and/or fuselage tops or fronts, but I simply cannot recall recall any all black (color) RC-135.

I would be very pleased to learn more about this specific airplane and any other details you might provide.

Thanks

I'd like to hear about this specific airplane too. The only RC aircraft that I know of ever painted black is the right wing on the S models to prevent glint off the surface interfering with the optics


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