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Interesting Sighting over North Seattle Thursday 4/30/20

Posted: Fri May 01, 2020 1:59 am
by pmseattle
I live in North Seattle, under the approach path to SeaTac. Today I was in my yard and heard an extra loud aircraft noise which made me look up. There was the usual mundane Alaska 737 flying over on approach to SeaTac but at a much higher altitude were two very large aircraft in a tight, close formation heading west toward the Puget Sound and Olympic Peninsula. One had four engines and swept wings similar to a modern airliner, the other had very straight, unswept wings with no engines visible underneath. The two aircraft were almost on top of each other, from my point of view, and traveling together in the same direction. After a moment or two I realized that this looked suspiciously like it could be an aerial refueling operation with some variant of KC-135 and a B-1. Is that likely, or maybe I was dreaming ?

Re: Interesting Sighting over North Seattle Thursday 4/30/20

Posted: Fri May 01, 2020 7:24 pm
by ssteve
Plausible. https://www.military.com/daily-news/202 ... yment.html

But you'd think if they were headed to Japan and using a 135 out of Fairchild, that N. Seattle would be out of the way.

Re: Interesting Sighting over North Seattle Thursday 4/30/20

Posted: Fri May 01, 2020 8:33 pm
by LyleLanley
Sounds like they were on AR-356, which is the westbound AR track from 260-280 (355 is eastbound).

If you have a rough time I'll see what I can scrounge.

Re: Interesting Sighting over North Seattle Thursday 4/30/20

Posted: Sat May 02, 2020 12:16 am
by pmseattle
ssteve wrote:
Plausible. https://www.military.com/daily-news/202 ... yment.html

But you'd think if they were headed to Japan and using a 135 out of Fairchild, that N. Seattle would be out of the way.


Thanks for the link, it does sound plausible now, as opposed to "was I seeing things ?!" . As for what would be a reasonable route to take towards Japan, I have no idea.

Re: Interesting Sighting over North Seattle Thursday 4/30/20

Posted: Sat May 02, 2020 2:39 pm
by texl1649
Keep in mind the B-2 has an unrefueled range of only around 6,000 miles. 4 F-118's drink a lot.