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Unusual aircraft and ufology:

Are UFOs extraordinary secret aircraft from our own planet that are misinterpreted and confused for extraterrestrial spaceships? It has been 60 years now that some have claimed so, while serious UFO researchers know that a very ordinary airliner suffice to create a UFO confusion. And after 60 years, absolutely none of the so-called secret earthly aircraft has ever revealed anything out of the normal improvement of aviation technology. It seems possible to me, with a little bit of homework, to examine each candidate plane individually and to assess if that plane is suitable or not as an explanation of the entire UFO enigma or of some UFO sighting reports or of no UFO sighting reports. Here is one of these case by case examinations.

X-47A "Pegasus:"

X-47A, nicknamed "Pegasus" is constructed by Northrop-Grumman on their own funding, with the support of the US Defence's DARPA (Defence Advanced Research Project Agency) and US Navy. Its most unusual characteristic is that of being an unmanned combat aircraft (UCAV) which is clearly meant for attack purpose, that is, destroying the enemy's air defense, not just for reconnaissance purpose.

It is tailless and kite-shaped. The lack of tail and rudders explains quite well: there is no pilot, its pitch roll and yaw is entirely controlled by its informatics using flexible parts of its entire flight envelope: maneuvers via six control surfaces: two elevons and four inlays, inspired by Northrop's flying wings of the fifties, two above and two below the fuselage, and a two-dimensional nozzle.

X-47a

Does Pegasus explain UFOs?

X-47 explains zero UFO reports before February 2003.

On February 26, 2001, Northrop Grumman Corporation's Integrated Systems Sector presented a full-scale model of the X-47A demonstrator. The model had undergone 500 hours of wind tunnel testing and 300 hours of computer simulations.

Its first flight was on February 23, 2003, at the Naval Air Warfare, China Lake, California, USA. It was a successful 12 minutes flight which consisted essentially of a simulated aircraft carrier landing. The aircraft was supposed to land at a precise predetermined touchdown point, and this test was successful.

This first flight was widely announced by Northrop-Grumman, as were the previous tests of autonomous engine start and stop. Although the aircraft technical achievements details are certainly not public domain, its existence is nothing of a secret. Drawing of its shape circulated already two years before its first flight. A mockup model is on public display at the Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland.

You may read all sorts of more or less nonsensical claims about this aircraft: that it is using antigravity, or magnetohydrodynamics, and probably some will claim that it is inspired by "alien technology." Although it seems impossible to prove that it is all nonsense, such speculations are empty: the aircraft is entirely in the range of today's aeronautics, and it shows no sign of any unusual propulsion.

Characteristics:

Designation: Northrop-Grumman X-47A "Pegasus"
First flight: February 23, 2003.
Length: 29.7 feet.
Wingspan: 27.8 feet.
Engine: Pratt & Whitney JT15D-5C turbofan.
Thrust: 3.200 lbs.
Role: Surveillance, strike and suppression of enemy air defences.
Speed: ?
Range: ?

References:

Other "secret aircraft" supposed to explain UFOs:

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This page was last updated on July 1, 2003.