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Are These Airliner Or Military Contrails?  
User currently offlineMr Spaceman From Canada, joined Mar 2001, 2787 posts, RR: 8
Posted (13 years 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 1961 times:

Hi guys.

The photographer states that 4 airliners just flew over his airliner in the photo below. Do you think it's possible that what the man with the camera thought were airliners are actually a flight of military aircraft, such as C-5 Galaxies, C-141 Starlifters or even Globemasters?

The reason I ask is because I've never seen airliners fly side by side like this. They are always in trail of one another along an airway....at least that's how they're separated over Toronto and the surrounding areas, where I live.

What do you guys think? I think they're military myself. (no disrespect meant to the photographer).

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Photo © Vasco Garcia

Chris  Smile

"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
10 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlinePW4084 From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 291 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (13 years 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 1890 times:

It's hard to tell, but at first glance I'd say those look like fighter contrails.

User currently offlineJetguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (13 years 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 1882 times:

Personally, I think that they are chemtrails and that it is part of a liberal conspiracy to subdue us.  Big grin

User currently offlineTimz From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 7035 posts, RR: 6
Reply 3, posted (13 years 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 1836 times:

...they passed overhead three seconds before the pic-- if so, that makes airliners even less likely. For that matter, military transports look unlikely too, if they passed three seconds before.

But I think you're right-- even two airliners side by side would be fairly uncommon.

User currently offlineIMissPiedmont From United States of America, joined May 2001, 6463 posts, RR: 31
Reply 4, posted (13 years 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 1801 times:

Four airliners over northen Illinois is not uncommon. The seperation is sufficient. Four US Air Force transports is unlikely, and fighters would be much closer together.

I vote for the airliners.

I am glad I was around to fly before de-regulation.
User currently offlineBlatantEcho From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1967 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (13 years 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 1795 times:

Piedmonts logic makes the most sense to me

I have seen 2 airliners (coincidently over IL actually) flying in a patter like that. We were @ 41k and they tracked below us, but was pretty cool all the same.

I also figure military would be much tighter. And 4 seconds, with a combined speed of ~1100mph would account for the planes not being in the shot.

They're not handing trophies out today
User currently offlineJetdoctor From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2001, 258 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (13 years 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 1784 times:

Those look like F-16 contrails from the Air National Guard (single jetstream)

They are still up there around ORD, just not seen very often


Break ground, and head into the wind. Don't break wind and head into the ground.
User currently offlinePW4084 From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 291 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (13 years 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 1775 times:

The factors pointing to fighters to me is the appearance of the contrail as jetdoctor said and the fact that it could be Combat Air Patrol. I wonder what kind of lateral spacing that is. Maybe a few NM or so?


User currently offlineSudden From Sweden, joined Jul 2001, 4135 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (13 years 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 1737 times:

With all respect,
I do think Vasco knows what he photographs.
He is one of the "big guns" when it comes to photograph A/C's.

When in doubt, flat out!
User currently offlineMr Spaceman From Canada, joined Mar 2001, 2787 posts, RR: 8
Reply 9, posted (13 years 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 1728 times:

Hi guys.

As I mentioned, I in now way, shape, or form, intended to insult Vasco's abilty to identify aircraft. This photo simply made me curious because I've never seen 4 airliners flying "Line Abreast" / "side by side" like that before. Because I thought that the seperation between these airliners seem rather abnormal...I thought of military Heavy Iron as a possability.

I also thought that the contrails looked like they could belong to a flight of fighter jets on patrol because of the shape of the contrails, however, I figured that even though Vasco said he was slow at taking the shot (obviously he was surprised), I figured he likely saw the size of the aircraft. A 747 or A340 has 4 engines, but so do C-5's and C-141's.

Regarding fighter jets, I'm sure they don't always fly in "tight" formation with only the lead pilot looking forward. That way they can scan the skies better without worrying about hitting each other.

Perhaps Jetguy is correct....They are chemtrails of Valium meant to keep Illinois mellow!

Chris  Smile

"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
User currently offlineTimz From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 7035 posts, RR: 6
Reply 10, posted (13 years 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 1716 times:

The claim that they flew overhead three seconds before pretty well rules out airliners, if it's true. If it's true, then they're now maybe a half-mile away from the camera, but they only spread across a fifth of the frame width. If the shot was taken with a 50 mm (and it looks rather like that, wouldn't you say?) then that means they are 8 degrees apart; since they're half a mile away that makes them a small fraction of a mile apart.

Yes, they may not be side by side, and the lens might be wider-- but there's no way they can be miles apart if they all flew overhead three seconds before. Or anything like it.

By the way: does Illinois look like that?

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