It’s been far too long since we’ve checked in with our friend David Cenciotti at The Aviationist and we’re never disappointed with what his readers send his way.The plane in the picture above is a Martin RB-57F Canberra, a design that’s been around for about 50 years. The Air Force has handed its Canberras off to NASA and whether NASA is also using them for weather surveillance remains unclear, but Dave’s “Spooky Plane” in the title implies he knows something we don’t.
Since this is as often the case as not with military aircraft, we’re going to assume the 57F was up to some clandestine mission shrouded in more secrecy than reassuring details when one of The Aviationist’s readers spotted it in England.
From The Aviationist:
After completing a BACN deployment at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan, one of the NASA’s last two flying WB-57Fs is on its way back to Ellington Field, Texas.
Wearing the typical white colour scheme, used to keep a “low profile” and appear similar to general aviation aircraft during its rather clandestine mission, the highly modified Canberra registered N926NA arrived to RAF Mildenhall, UK, from Souda Bay, Crete, on Dec. 2 and left the British airport to Lajes field, Azores, on Dec. 3.
The aircraft had deployed to Afghanistan via Lajes on Mar. 5 after performing test activities at Nellis AFB, where the other plane of the same type, NASA 928 has recently conducted some more experimental flights (see below).
Stripped of all its markings the plane will be in Houston for maintenance until February, before heading back on another deployment. Likely to also be Afghanistan.
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