Saturday, August 17, 2013

Government De-Classifies AREA 51: U2 and What Else?

Area 51: Containment Chamber
Area 51: Containment Chamber (Photo credit: Craig Walkowicz)
A-12 full scale model prepared for radar cross...
A-12 full scale model prepared for radar cross section measurements (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Area 51 is the popular name for the Groom Lake base, located in southern Nevada . The base itself is located within the Nevada Test and Training Area deep in a sealed-off area. The base is home to the testing and development of some of America's most advanced military systems, primarily aircraft.

Area 51 has now finally been officially confirmed for the U-2 's story...but is that all it is? 
Despite being shrouded in secrecy and mystery, the base is actually possible to see by the public. Both from a distance through binoculars or telescopes, but also via satellite photos, which are freely available via the Internet , either as images for download or via eg Google Earth . The position is 37 ° 14'N 115 ° 49'W in the southwest corner of the dry Groom Lake . Overflight of the area is not possible because the base is surrounded by restricted airspace from the ground to the infinite height.

Lying in the range a number of mines that have been closed. Some of the mines may contain interesting trail from settlers in pioneer-era United States, and several have in this regard been trying to get Adang to the sealed-off area to explore these ancient survivors effects, but so far without success.
The history of the base at Groom Lake , popularly known - and highlighted by fiction and media - as Area 51 begins in 1950, when the U.S. CIA in collaboration with Lockheed's Advanced Development Projects Division ( "Skunk Works" ) developed spy plane U-2 during project name AQUATONE . New aircraft types were most often developed and tested at Edwards Air Force Base in California , but it was decided by the chief designer, Kelly Johnson, to find a more desolate place for test flights away from prying eyes. After a long search, without having found the ideal place, there came a colonel in the U.S. Air Force ( USAF ) think of a small airfield at Groom Lake in Nevada .

Aerodrome, called Nellis Auxillary Field no. 1, was no longer suitable for operations, but the dry, flat former riverbed was ideal to use for test flights and could almost be used as a giant runway with minimal preparation. The area bordering also up to Yucca Flats , which was used for nuclear testing, which meant that no civil settlement was near. The area was formally a part of Atomic Energy Commission ( AEC ), and thus cut off from public access, and not even military training flights in the area had come near the new test facility. In 1955 the base was referred to as "Paradise Ranch", or just The Ranch of people who worked there.

The construction of base facilities were advertised in the local media in May 1955 as the base was so far not a deep secret, just not a place you could get to. A 5000 foot runway , control tower , three hangars, fuel tanks, well drilling, limited residential and individual entertainment facilities were constructed, and the base had real character of temporary buildings. There were no plans to do to continue after the U-2 plane was fully developed. When staff from Lockheed and the CIA began arriving at the base, got the name Watertown , allegedly by CIA Director Allen Dulles birthplace in New York .

The first flights began in August 1955 and in 1956 flew four unit tests and pilot training of Groom Lake. Until more of the first prototypes crashed during these tests.

During 1957 declined test flights at Groom Lake, and most aircraft operating from Edwards Air Force Base and the base was almost a ghost town at this time. At the same time increased nuclear tests in the neighborhood, and Watertown were several times completely evacuated due to radioactive fallout . In fact, the buildings were used as a laboratory for how different types of materials protected against radioactivity .

In 1958, the area around Watertown officially closed to the public, although in practice had been for three years and the place became known as Area 51 , ​​as the entire Nevada Test Site is divided into different areas (areas), and the area around the base had happened number 51

The next big project to result in a significant expansion of the Groom Lake base was Project oxcart , which later became supersonic rekognoceringsflyet SR-71 Blackbird . Again it was Lockheed's Skunk Works , who was responsible for development and production, and expansion of installation began in 1959. The base at Area 51 was not suitable for such a large project, but the site's unique location meant that you still chose to prioritize security around the aircraft highest and the base may simply be expanded. The first scale models were tested for Radar Cross Section (how strong radar echo that bounces off of the plane), while a massive build-up of the base continued right up until 1964.

A new runway was completed, several were marked directly on the dry, flat bottom for use in emergencies, four additional hangars, 130 residential sheds, workshops, administration buildings, new control tower, fire station and seven battle tanks for the special JP-7 fuel was constructed. There were sacrificed money on several entertainment facilities, sports field and recreation area with a small pond, now that many people would stay for a long period of time at the base. Sometime during the 1960s the name Dreamland as a cover for where the aircraft should land on the base, was supposed to go. The name was also synonymous with the base itself. Possibly named after a poem by Edgar Allan Poe , Dream-Land.

Project oxcart resulted first in the A-12 aircraft, which first flew in April 1962. It was also sealed off the airspace above Groom Lake expanded to keep everyone away from the base. A total of 15 A-12 aircraft were constructed, and was operationally deployed in Area 51, when it officially did not exist and therefore could not fly from ordinary air bases.

Throughout the 1960s, the development of the supersonic aircraft in different versions, including an armed version YF-12 and a supersonic drone D-21 . The operational version called the SR-71 was a very well known aircraft after the publication of the project in 1964, not least because of its exotic appearance, incredible speed and almost invulnerability against future air defense. It flew routine missions over Soviet territory, Korea, Vietnam and sometimes China. A fact the countries involved, however, would not confirm because it would be embarrassing to admit that they could not do anything about it.

The name Area 51 is now used only as a popular name, not the least prevalent through the media, conspiracy theories, movies and computer games. Officially, the base has no name, but the U.S. government has acknowledged the place of existence as a result of a number of lawsuits. The base referred to only as "an operating location near Groom Lake", with the note that everything that might have to go on the base belongs to the category "absolutely critical to national security" and therefore will never be commented on. Reference to IT 3, AFFTC (Detachment 3, Air Force Flight Test Centre) is also seen as this apparently is the branch of the USAF , who is responsible for the operation of the base.

HAVE BLUE and the development of stealthfly was the last "big" secret project known from Area 51 U.S. Air Force took over the operation of the base in 1979, and since then a lot of former public land been included in the barricaded area to prevent prying eyes from seeing what is going on. There is knowledge of several different projects throughout the 1990s, but they primarily involve new tests of known and published aircraft.

The following recent or ongoing projects are known or rumored:

YF-113g - Despite the YF-113-designation tion concealed Soviet aircraft, it is believed not to "G" model belongs to them. It may be a completely separate plane, as it is known that test pilot Dennis F. "Bones" Cases have flown in the 1990s. More information is included.

Boeing Bird Of Prey - Published in 2002, Boeing's Bird Of Prey is an unmanned ( UAV ) stealth aircraft, which has been under development since 1992. Whether it still further developed is uncertain, the project is officially completed. The experience was used in Boeing's X-45 UCAV
Known stealthfly as B-2 and F-22 are still seen on occasion at Groom Lake.
F-121 Sentinel - unknown triangular supersonic rekogniseringsfly which should be developed through the 1980s and 1990s. Could fit with observations made ​​over the North Sea in 1989 and near Groom Lake in the late 90s.
Bright Star - unknown. May attempt to reduce the sonic boom or a new propulsion system. Some very clear image is obtained, but shows no conclusive.

Snow Bird / Brilliant Buzzard - Another suspected supersonic rekognoseringsfly in a triangular delta construction. It seems likely that flying - or flown - a quick delta-wing aircraft, but what project is and whether it is an operational flight or just a demonstrationsfly remains uncertain.

To and from the base citation needed ]

It flies daily from 10 to 12 return flights from Las Vegas 'McCarran airport to Groom Lake. The workers turn up at a private terminal, operated by EG & G , which also manages the operation of aircraft, and here they go aboard several anonymous-looking Boeing 737-600 , called JANET -flights. This is the call sign of the aircraft on the radio - the origin and significance is unknown. A small fleet of Beech 200 and Beech 1900 is also used for aircraft wings to Groom Lake and other facilities nearby. In addition to aircraft using people who live close to the base of the surrounding villages a bus which runs all the way to the base by a highly maintained gravel road. It is estimated that on an average weekday commute around 1500 people back and forth to Groom Lake.

Facilities at the base area 51 satellite photo

The base is fully functional to provide support to the many works and projects that may take place. Recently, several buildings have been built in the area, including a hangar larger than any other on the base, suggesting that projects underway that require lots of space.Among the known facilities include:
  • About 25 hangars
  • Administration Building
  • My. 26 residential buildings of two floors
  • Flyterminal for workers
  • Fragtcentral
  • Two fire stations
  • Armoury
  • Reinforcement Hangar
  • Control tower
  • Various radar and electronic test equipment
  • Helicopter Ramp
  • Dining room / exhibition
  • Water tower (likely with associated wellbore)
  • Recreation, swimming pool, fitness room
  • Security Personnel
  • Various workshops
  • Soil, concrete and cement facilities for building construction
  • With several km long underground tunnels
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