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Mysterious Military Jet Over OKC

Posted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 1:33 pm
by FlexJetOKC
I need some help identifying a military aircraft that I have seen flying in to Tinker AFB (KTIK) twice in the past week. It was at night both times, so I could not physically see the airplane. What had me confused is that it looked exactly like the red beacons that the T38 aircraft have, but they were LED. I will also say that it did not sound like a T38. It was also very quiet. Way quieter than a T38. The first time I saw the plane, it was heading east over OKC at about 3000 feet going approximately 300 mph into TIK then about 20 minutes later, it quickly departed back WNW.

Last night, I saw the same LED pattern. Low level jet around 3000 feet going around 300 mph right towards Tinker. Is it possible that its the XQ-58A? Like I said, I have never seen a consistent pattern of this type of activity up until about a week ago. Any help would be great!

Re: Mysterious Military Jet Over OKC

Posted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 5:34 pm
by WKTaylor
Your description has a couple of faults/omissions.

300-MPH is way-to fast for low-altitude operations in [what amounts to] commercial airspace.
Also, 'how big' do you estimate the aircraft was?

Re: Mysterious Military Jet Over OKC

Posted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 10:24 pm
by HaveBlue
WKTaylor wrote:
Your description has a couple of faults/omissions.

300-MPH is way-to fast for low-altitude operations in [what amounts to] commercial airspace.
Also, 'how big' do you estimate the aircraft was?


Speed limit below 10,000' is 250 knots which is 288mph, so close enough to 300mph to be doable, and plenty of aircraft aren't obeying the speed limit. That being said a night time sighting with details as ambiguous as those given leaves a lot to be desired. A T-38 is very quiet at idle speed and lights are a good one to identify most aircraft.

Re: Mysterious Military Jet Over OKC

Posted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 11:50 pm
by kc135topboom
Aircraft whos performance requires higher airspeeds than 250 knots can fly faster the 250 KIAS below 10,000'. You just have to let ATC know it.

I really doubt this aircraft was the XQ-58, seeing it just had its first flight last month in Arizona.

Re: Mysterious Military Jet Over OKC

Posted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 1:35 am
by Moose135
WKTaylor wrote:
300-MPH is way-to fast for low-altitude operations in [what amounts to] commercial airspace.

It's based on the operational needs of the aircraft. A hundred years ago, when I was flying the T-38, 300 knots was our "everyday" airspeed for normal flight - which included under 10K.

Re: Mysterious Military Jet Over OKC

Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 11:09 pm
by HaveBlue
HaveBlue wrote:
WKTaylor wrote:
Your description has a couple of faults/omissions.

300-MPH is way-to fast for low-altitude operations in [what amounts to] commercial airspace.
Also, 'how big' do you estimate the aircraft was?


and lights are a good one to identify most aircraft.


Meant to say 'lights are not a good way to identify most aircraft at night.' Silly inebriated post!

Re: Mysterious Military Jet Over OKC

Posted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 12:42 am
by kc135topboom
Moose135 wrote:
WKTaylor wrote:
300-MPH is way-to fast for low-altitude operations in [what amounts to] commercial airspace.

It's based on the operational needs of the aircraft. A hundred years ago, when I was flying the T-38, 300 knots was our "everyday" airspeed for normal flight - which included under 10K.



When I started flying the KC-135, our normal climb speed was 275 KIAS. Around 1976 or 1977 the FAA came up with the requirement of 250 knots below 10,000', unless aircraft performance required a higher airspeed. At the same time the USAF required all aircraft external lighting to be on below 10,000' for bird aviodance (birds avoiding the airplane, not the other way around). The FB-111s at Pease and Plattsburgh were climbing out at 300 knots.

Re: Mysterious Military Jet Over OKC

Posted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 6:06 am
by rlwynn
I have planes fly over all day long faster than 250 knots and way lower than fl100. I Just right now looked and Info DUS there is a 321 at 4000 280kts. And there is a Condor 767 7000 354kts.

Re: Mysterious Military Jet Over OKC

Posted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 12:29 am
by FlyHossD
rlwynn wrote:
I have planes fly over all day long faster than 250 knots and way lower than fl100. I Just right now looked and Info DUS there is a 321 at 4000 280kts. And there is a Condor 767 7000 354kts.


Are you reading groundspeed? I suspect so.

The speed limits earlier in the thread refer to indicated airspeed. Also, in Europe, it's more common for ATC to authorize speeds above 250 KIAS.

Re: Mysterious Military Jet Over OKC

Posted: Wed Apr 24, 2019 6:48 pm
by WKTaylor
Tinker AFB is located within S.E. OKC city limits... and there is LOT of local commercial, GA and helo traffic crossing everywhere.

A fast-mover jet [NOT climbing to altitude] that is very low visibility, scooting around airspace like OKC would be a pretty sketchy proposition.