Back on December 4, the same day the U.S. allegedly lost control of an RQ-170 Sentinel drone over Iran, the guys at Open Source GEOINT were messing around with Google Earth and pointed the client near U.S. Air Force plant 42 in Palmdale, California.
The plant’s most renowned contractors include Boeing, Lockheed Martin (home of the legendary Skunk Works), and Northrop Grumman, and had a rather interesting asset parked outside.
To the right of the grey aircraft, sitting under a white tarp is a drone roughly the same shape as the RQ-170, but with a larger wingspan.
Photo: Open Source GEOINT
Of course it’s hard to imagine anyone would park a top secret drone outside for any overhead satellite to see, but the fact that it’s covered up prompts some curiosity.
David Cenciotti at The Aviationist points out that it looks like the left wing may be damaged and that packaging could be on the wingtips making them appear longer.
Writers at Flight Global’s the Dew Line think the craft could perhaps be the one below from a 1997 Lockheed Martin patent.
Photo: Flight Global
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