A unique view of New York City.[click here for full size image]
Three SR-71s on Ramp via Dryden Flight Research Center
Optica G-BGMW (001) and G-BLFC (003) aircraft. Roles for the Optica are virtually unlimited, from the obvious aerial photography and surveillance patrols to traffic reporting, powerline inspection etc. and it has the ability to perform much of a helicopter’s work with fixed-wing economy and range.
B-1B Lancer - With a top speed of Mach 1.25 and a service ceiling of 60,000 feet, this is a fast long range support aircraft ready to deliver.
Dassault Mirage 2000 C
Two AV-8B Harriers via Gizmodo
Before all of those sleek and sexy stealth aircraft (I’m looking at you Nighthawk and Blackbird), Lockheed developed a seemingly simple propeller driven aircraft that was inaudible from the ground as it flew 1,000 feet overhead.
The Lockheed YO-3A Quiet Star was a near silent, night recon aircraft that saw operation mostly during 1970 and 1971 in Vietnam. It was equipped with night vision and an infrared illuminator which it would use while on patrol in the dark dead of night to monitor troop movement or coordinate attacks. During the 14 months that 9 Quiet Stars operated in South Vietnam, none were shot down or even took a round.
What made this aircraft so quiet was it’s slow turning propeller and heavily modified exhaust. The muffler ran the length of the aircraft which enabled sound to be dampened by an incredible amount. The Quiet Star also had radar absorbing paint.
Here’s a look at the downward facing night vision aerial periscope. The top photo is by Paul Garin and shows the aircraft in Phu Bai in 1970 while the bottom photo was taken at the Cable Air Show in 2010 by Frank Marmillo.
If you’re looking for more information on the Quiet Star, I highly recommend you visit YO-3A.com. They are a group of individuals that all share the same interest in preserving the history of the YO-3A. Kurt Olney, historian and webmaster of the site, is actually working on a restoration of the aircraft.