indcwby
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Possible US Military A340 Flying Over & Around EFD

Tue Dec 21, 2010 12:35 am

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?
 
United1
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RE: Possible US Military A340 Flying Over & Around EFD

Tue Dec 21, 2010 12:40 am

Are you sure it wasn't a KC-135 (or one of the military 707 derivatives) as the US Military has no A340s....
I know the voices in my head aren't real but sometimes their ideas are just awesome!!!
 
warden145
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RE: Possible US Military A340 Flying Over & Around EFD

Tue Dec 21, 2010 12:58 am

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...
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DL_Mech
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RE: Possible US Military A340 Flying Over & Around EFD

Tue Dec 21, 2010 12:58 am

E-6B?



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beertrucker
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RE: Possible US Military A340 Flying Over & Around EFD

Tue Dec 21, 2010 1:07 am


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How about this? This is what I think you saw.
Fly HI
 
indcwby
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RE: Possible US Military A340 Flying Over & Around EFD

Tue Dec 21, 2010 1:21 am

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.
 
indcwby
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RE: Possible US Military A340 Flying Over & Around EFD

Tue Dec 21, 2010 1:42 am

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.
 
ftrguy
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RE: Possible US Military A340 Flying Over & Around EFD

Wed Dec 22, 2010 11:10 pm

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...
 
hka098
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RE: Possible US Military A340 Flying Over & Around EFD

Wed Dec 22, 2010 11:55 pm

I am quite sure the U.S. Military does not operate any Airbus types.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Possible US Military A340 Flying Over & Around EFD

Fri Dec 24, 2010 6:40 pm

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.
 
SSGRRiley
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RE: Possible US Military A340 Flying Over & Around EFD

Sat Dec 25, 2010 1:23 pm

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.
 
hka098
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RE: Possible US Military A340 Flying Over & Around EFD

Sat Dec 25, 2010 3:37 pm

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

Agreed, but in my experience nothing is 100% except death, taxes, and politicians telling lies.
 
135mech
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RE: Possible US Military A340 Flying Over & Around EFD

Thu Aug 30, 2012 6:23 pm

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.
135Mech
 
FlyingSicilian
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RE: Possible US Military A340 Flying Over & Around EFD

Thu Aug 30, 2012 6:42 pm

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
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zanl188
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RE: Possible US Military A340 Flying Over & Around EFD

Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:51 pm

NASA also operates a 135 and a DC-8


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kc135topboom
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RE: Possible US Military A340 Flying Over & Around EFD

Thu Aug 30, 2012 8:22 pm

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.
 
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ptrjong
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RE: Possible US Military A340 Flying Over & Around EFD

Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:08 am

No, it's an Eurocopter product. Same parent company, different company.
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rc135x
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RE: Possible US Military A340 Flying Over & Around EFD

Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:56 am

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

I believe NASA no longer operates any KC-135s.
KC-135A, A(RT), D, E, E(RT), Q, R, EC-135A, C, G, L, RC-135S, U, V, W, X, TC-135S, W
 
ssteve
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RE: Possible US Military A340 Flying Over & Around EFD

Fri Aug 31, 2012 5:57 am

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

Probably not:
http://airbornescience.nasa.gov/aircraft
 
rc135x
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RE: Possible US Military A340 Flying Over & Around EFD

Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:23 pm

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?
KC-135A, A(RT), D, E, E(RT), Q, R, EC-135A, C, G, L, RC-135S, U, V, W, X, TC-135S, W
 
ssteve
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RE: Possible US Military A340 Flying Over & Around EFD

Fri Aug 31, 2012 3:34 pm

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.
 
Devilfish
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RE: Possible US Military A340 Flying Over & Around EFD

Sun Sep 02, 2012 2:42 am

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.....


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kc135topboom
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RE: Possible US Military A340 Flying Over & Around EFD

Sun Sep 02, 2012 11:11 pm

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.
 
checksixx
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RE: Possible US Military A340 Flying Over & Around EFD

Mon Sep 03, 2012 7:32 am

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.
 
135mech
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RE: Possible US Military A340 Flying Over & Around EFD

Tue Sep 04, 2012 8:04 pm

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".
135Mech
 
txjim
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RE: Possible US Military A340 Flying Over & Around EFD

Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:25 pm

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
 
HaveBlue
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RE: Possible US Military A340 Flying Over & Around EFD

Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:44 pm

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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