Daily Archives: September 30, 2021

This And That . . .

Today was another lunch/errand/coffee day, with lunch at our newly-reopened Monterey’s Little Mexico once again. And luckily the crowd has tapered off since they opened a couple of weeks ago, so we didn’t have a wait this time like the last several times.

Then it was on up to the Harbor Freight for a couple of small storage bins, before doing WalMart/HEB stops. And of course finishing up with Cold Blended Sugar-Free Pumpkin Spice Lattes with Almond Milk and Sugar-Free Whipped Cream.

Delicious as always.

Apparently there’s a bobcat running around a golf course in the League City area.

League City Bobcat

A pretty good sized one, and out in the daytime too.

The Next UFO Sighting?

I recently came across an article about a leaked photo of a stealthy-looking aircraft test shape on a trailer driving near Lockheed’s famed Skunk Works facility in California at the company’s secretive Helendale radar-cross section (RCS) measurement facility.

Skunk Works AirForm

The Skunk Works is responsible for a number of aircraft designs, beginning with the P-38 Lightning in 1939 and the P-80 Shooting Star in 1943. Skunk Works engineers subsequently developed the U-2, SR-71 Blackbird, F-117 Nighthawk, F-22 Raptor, and F-35 Lightning II.

And for some reason, Jeff Babione, the head of Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works advanced projects division declined to comment.

And this story about the testform and the Radar Cross-Section test area, brings back a memory of when in 1981-82 I was part of the team helping to set up the Space Shuttle Backup Landing Site located at Northrup Strip on the White Sands Missile Range.

To get there we usually rode a Air Force bus out from Holloman AFB. Along the way we passed the location of the famed Rocket Sled track where John Stapp became the ‘Fastest Man On Earth” traveling at over 600 mph in December 1954.

Rocket Sled

And then, out in the middle of the desert, was this facility about 200 yards off the road. It consisted of a large one-story building with a really big radar dish out in front. But rather than pointing up in the sky, it was pointing out horizontally, toward a tall white pylon about 300 yards away.

Though it was often empty, a number of times there would be this weird shape sitting on top of the pylon, with all sorts of flat sides and angles sticking out.

And we probably wouldn’t have thought anything about it, until the AP guy with us on the bus told us to not look over there as we went by. Of course that just made us more curious, so we looked when ever we got a chance.

But it wasn’t until around 1988 when the Air Force released the first somewhat blurry photo of the rumored first stealth aircraft, the F117 Stealth Fighter.


Turns out this facility was the RCS (Radar Cross-Section) test area, researching the different configurations of the F117 to find the most stealthy one.

You never know what you’ll see.

Thought For The Day:

“You cannot step in the same river twice, for the river has changed, and you have changed.” – Heraclitus ~ 600 BC



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