Mr Spaceman
Topic Author
Posts: 2723
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2001 5:09 am

Are These Airliner Or Military Contrails?

Thu Aug 15, 2002 1:49 am

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"
 
PW4084
Posts: 287
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2001 7:31 pm

RE: Are These Airliner Or Military Contrails?

Thu Aug 15, 2002 5:19 am

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

RE: Are These Airliner Or Military Contrails?

Thu Aug 15, 2002 5:56 am

Personally, I think that they are chemtrails and that it is part of a liberal conspiracy to subdue us.  Big grin
 
timz
Posts: 6161
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 1999 7:43 am

He Says...

Thu Aug 15, 2002 8:06 am

...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.
 
IMissPiedmont
Posts: 6200
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 12:58 pm

RE: Are These Airliner Or Military Contrails?

Thu Aug 15, 2002 1:09 pm

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.
The day you stop learning is the day you should die.
 
BlatantEcho
Posts: 1820
Joined: Wed Sep 27, 2000 10:11 am

RE: Are These Airliner Or Military Contrails?

Thu Aug 15, 2002 2:18 pm

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
 
jetdoctor
Posts: 220
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2001 2:16 pm

RE: Are These Airliner Or Military Contrails?

Thu Aug 15, 2002 3:05 pm

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

RT
Break ground, and head into the wind. Don't break wind and head into the ground.
 
PW4084
Posts: 287
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2001 7:31 pm

RE: Are These Airliner Or Military Contrails?

Thu Aug 15, 2002 3:42 pm

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?

PW4084
 
sudden
Posts: 3934
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2001 5:20 pm

RE: Are These Airliner Or Military Contrails?

Thu Aug 15, 2002 11:22 pm

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!
 
Mr Spaceman
Topic Author
Posts: 2723
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2001 5:09 am

RE: Are These Airliner Or Military Contrails?

Fri Aug 16, 2002 1:12 am

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"
 
timz
Posts: 6161
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 1999 7:43 am

Still Doubt It

Fri Aug 16, 2002 1:29 am

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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