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NASA WB-57F Canberra
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... an unmarked, broad-wing jet flying in big circles north of Nellis AFB. Something new? No, something old... it's a converted NASA WB-57F Canberra, a high altitude research aircraft undoubtedly testing something new and secret for the USAF.

NASA (Johnson Space Center) operates two WB-57F aircraft out of Ellington Field in Houston, Texas. The WB-57F is a mid-wing, long-range aircraft capable of operation for extended periods of time at altitudes to about 70,000 feet. With a crew of two, the WB-57 can fly for approximately 6.5 hours with a range of approximately 2500 miles and a payload of 6,000 pounds. These aircraft flew research missions beginning in the early 1960's, but all but two are now retired

In recent years, the two active WB-57s are being used by the USAF for high altitude, long duration, multispectral reconnaissance and radio frequency translation in war zones. The Canberras are carrying a new radio translator system used to connect the dispirit and incompatible radio systems used by aerial and ground forces (who would think the US would use incompatible radio systems?).

For more info, link to article in Wired Magazine.

WB-57
Flying high in big circles over DNWR
WB-57
Flying high in big circles over DNWR
NASA WB-57
NASA-928; Nellis, April 2010
NASA WB-57
NASA-928; Nellis, April 2010
NASA WB-57 NASA WB-57
NASA WB-57 NASA WB-57

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 170611

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