Secret Stealth VTOL Transport - "Senior Citizen"

Sundog

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Sublight, in your document it states the program was Secret-SNTK, what does the S in SNTK mean? S_______ Need To Know.
 

LowObservable

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Just looked back at the Rutan connection... has anyone floated/exploded the hypothesis that SC was the full-size, CT64-powered version of the Model 133, which was the subject of a Beech/GELAC announcement at the time of the rollout and then met the Boojum?

"'But oh, beamish nephew, beware of the day,
If your Snark be a Boojum! For then
You will softly and suddenly vanish away,
And never be met with again!'
 

quellish

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Just looked back at the Rutan connection... has anyone floated/exploded the hypothesis that SC was the full-size, CT64-powered version of the Model 133, which was the subject of a Beech/GELAC announcement at the time of the rollout and then met the Boojum?

"'But oh, beamish nephew, beware of the day,
If your Snark be a Boojum! For then
You will softly and suddenly vanish away,
And never be met with again!'

Yes, and the connections to Rockbox and Big Safari.
 

LowObservable

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Sorry, I should not have made the question either/or. Has the hypothesis been exploded? It has a nice Occam's Razor edge to it, since the full-size spec to which Model 133 was designed has "Tehran" written all over it.
 

Q-nimbus

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It might be me, but it suddenly struck me how brilliant the program name ‘Senior Citizen’ is. Hide in plain sight with a name that is common English and gives you millions of Google hits. It might be a happy coincidence, especially since Senior Citizen was before widespread internet, but the US Army might have been ahead of the game. Using ordinary names or word combinations would make it easier to hide a program online in this day and age.
 

RavenOne

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It might be me, but it suddenly struck me how brilliant the program name ‘Senior Citizen’ is. Hide in plain sight with a name that is common English and gives you millions of Google hits. It might be a happy coincidence, especially since Senior Citizen was before widespread internet, but the US Army might have been ahead of the game. Using ordinary names or word combinations would make it easier to hide a program online in this day and age.

It’s a wild shot in the dark , how about said platform is in full view at an airbase or an OEM facility.. Best way to hide a project is not to shove it in the middle of groom lake in a secure no-one%will-ever%see.

Take for instance testing on likes of 757 Catbird or NT-43 Rat.....

when the 56rh RQS were based at RAF lakenheath until 2015/16 when the unit moved to Aviano AFB in Italy, I made a passing joke to several enthusiasts that one could hide Stealth Hawk and park or amongst the Pave Hawks and unless someone is very attentive , one could walk or drive by without knowing. But yours truly plus several dozen enthusiasts could spot any inconsistency.

For those of you who know Lakenheath, the Pave Hawks were parked in the Hardened Aircraft Shelters around the back by the weapons storage area. Plus surrounded By trees etc

My photo from the other month of pair of C-17A from McChord and Wright Pat parked near where the Pave Hawks were based. I took that from the Warren and both C-17 came in to support the Mountain Home F-15E deploying to Mid East which had Stopped here en route to the sandpit.



cheers

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RavenOne

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So any thoughts on my theory above about hiding in plain sight especially at RAF Lakenheath ?

cheers
 

RavenOne

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Wouldn't that be too much of an airframe to hide in plain sight?

How big in theory would Senior Citizen airframe? Certainly not C-17A size I would have thought more along the lines of an Airbus C295 or Leonardo C-27J?

So in theory one could hide it at the likes of RAF Lakenheath with all the trees surrounding , as opposed to RAF Mildenhall around the corner as it is pretty much in the open with viewing area at Johns Field on Runway 10 (was Runway 11 till recently from the west) or the mound and Folly Road on Runway 28 (formerly 29).

352nd Special Ops Wing at Mildenhall is located between 'SOG rOW' visible from the main road going to West Row, on the south side with th 67th SOS MC-130J Commando II while on the north side the 7th SOS CV-22B Osprey are located in the hangar by the Air Mobility Command passenger terminal (all my pics) from SOC Media Day in July 2013 with the arrival of the cv-22b

Cheers
 

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coanda

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Nah, too risky. It'd end up in too many pictures. Whatever is out there is kept locked away in hangars hidden from social medias ever present gaze, and all types of satellite.

I would go so far as to say that there is such a lack of practical applications for this type of platform (i.e. places to go worth the risk of losing your highest tech airframe) that its something of a non-starter as a fielded type.

The US must have been extracting people and things out of the USSR before the wall fell and we know that lines were tapped or otherwise interfered with by modified Hughes 500, and we also have had the Fulton extraction system since the 50s.

Is something like Senior Citizen worth the effort?

BTW. I'm in full devils advocate mode.
 
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Q-nimbus

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Considering the fact that it took 18 years to get the V-22 Osprey from first flight to operational status I don’t think a secret VTOL like Senior Citizen aimed for ever flew.

First of all, the long design and extreme difficullities the V-22 Osprey experienced during design shows how extremely complex such a machine is. And that’s just the basic vehicle - let alone a stealth version.

As the aircraft that the Senior Citizen aimed for would operate in hostile and and thus very dangerous environments it wouldn’t make sense to fly in one of your most technologically advanced aircraft. The risk of losing one and risk losing and compromising highly advanced secret technology to your enemies… there are very, very few targets that are worth taking that much risk. It’s much, much easier to just bomb the place. (UBL is a good example: from a military point of view he was insignificant after 9/11; the easiest way of getting rid of him would have been to just bomb his hideout. The reason the whole raid went the way it did was purely because of political reasons - and they even lost a SHHHH-Hawk).

These are just the technological and operational factors. But there’s also the cost. Just look at the insane amount of money the V-22 Osprey cost to develop: 27 billion dollars. That’s a lot of money, also for a black program. And a black program like Senior Citizen would cost a LOT more than this. With these kind of budgets, it’s hard te keep something secret: too much money and too much people involved.

I believe that a few modified existing airframes might have flown in the course of the Senior Citizen program. But considering how difficult it was to develop a VTOL Transport in the white world and how insanely expensive it was, I think there never was an actual airframe, nog even a prototype, let alone an operational one.

It was just too difficult, too expensive and too risky.

But I sure hope I’m wrong!
 

sublight is back

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Considering the fact that it took 18 years to get the V-22 Osprey from first flight to operational status I don’t think a secret VTOL like Senior Citizen aimed for ever flew.
A horribly behind schedule and over-budget mismanaged project does not make an apt comparison.

Try Lockheed A-12 as a successful example.
 

uk 75

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I find the idea of a stealthy VSTOL transport puzzling as all the VSTOL aircraft I know of whether jet, fan or rotor are incredibly noisy.
Using a C130 or CH47 to insert some Land Rovers or similar a few miles away seems a better way of doing it.
 

Orionblamblam

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I find the idea of a stealthy VSTOL transport puzzling as all the VSTOL aircraft I know of whether jet, fan or rotor are incredibly noisy.
Using a C130 or CH47 to insert some Land Rovers or similar a few miles away seems a better way of doing it.
Sometimes you might want to land right in the middle of the enemy... a soccer field, embassy grounds, something. In which case you want to get in and out quickly and as quietly as possible. A V/STOL cargo transport is never going to be silent, but it could sure be quieter - and less visible on radar and IR - than a CH-47.
 

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