What do you think this was?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Velius, Apr 4, 2008.

  1. Velius

    Velius Member

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    Hey everybody.

    A few moments ago my mom called me about a plane she saw flying at a low altitude over a grocery store. She gave me a description of it and it doesn't ring any bells. It got me curious as to what it is and I was wondering if y'all can help.

    Anyway, she told me that it looked like a military transport/cargo plane, straight wings and chubby body, and three engines with props (said they were nosey :) ).

    Based on the description, it sounds close to a EC-130H, perhaps mistaking the outboard wing tanks (if that's what they are) for engines. She looked at this pic and said it was close but not what she saw.

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...617.jpg/800px-EC-130H_Compass_Call_060617.jpg

    She is certain that there were 6 exhaust trails (hence the six engines) as it flew- and it is these six engines that has me puzzled.

    Any help to satisfy both our curiosities is appreciated

    Thanks 8)
     
  2. MONDARIZ

    MONDARIZ Member

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    AN 225 have 6 powerplants. Not many others do.

    AFAIK they still fly (think only 2 were made) and visit the states now and again, when they have a job in that part of the world.
     
  3. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    Could be 4 exhaust trails and vapor from the wingtips. 4 props could only be a few airplanes in the US inventory. Maybe a P-3 Orion?
    [​IMG]
     
  4. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    Wait, three props total, or three on each wing?
     
  5. kool kitty89

    kool kitty89 Well-Known Member

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    This should answer that. ;)
     
  6. Velius

    Velius Member

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    I was thinking it would be either a P-3 or a C-130 on a test flight (there is a company, L-3, in the area that does work on these two planes and often do test flights around town).

    Evangilder- "Wait, three props total, or three on each wing?"

    She says that there were 6 total "trails", three on each wing, and none of them on the wingtips. Each "trail" coming from what looked to be an engine nacelle blended into a high wing (narrowing out the P-3 with it's low wing). Another thing she said was that it was painted "army green", another thing that stumps me because none of the C-130s at L-3, or P-3s for that matter, are painted this way.

    She had another look at the pic I posted earlier and says it looks like the C-130, except for the three "engines" and the three trails that came from the "engines".

    Also, for my own info, what are those pods on the outboard section of the wings- fuel tanks? Do you think they can make a vapor trail?

    (my poor mother- I must sound like a police interrogator by now :lol:)
     
  7. Velius

    Velius Member

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    Maybe- but I'm not familiar with any six engine U.S. military aircraft
     
  8. DOUGRD

    DOUGRD Member

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    The pods you are referring to, which sit between the engines, are indeed external fuel tanks. I just researched it and according to an Air Force fact sheet they each hold 1,290 gals.
     
  9. kool kitty89

    kool kitty89 Well-Known Member

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    I meant that would answer Evanglider's question of the number of engines.
     
  10. MONDARIZ

    MONDARIZ Member

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    The C-130 can also be fitted with outboard external fuel tanks, but no matter where you fit them, they will not make con trails.

    I'm really only familiar with ONE 6 engined aicrafts, and thats the AN 225. However, this AC do not have straight wings.

    Anyway, there is hardly any point in this question, as the answer has disappeared. We will never answer it. Your mothers memory of the event will continue to be of a 6 engined AC, although the AC might not have had 6 engines, maybe it just looked like 6 con trails from where she saw it. If she think the C-130 looks like what she saw, then that is what she saw.

    The only aircraft combining straight wings and 6 engines, is the Hughes H-4 "Hercules" - and that it was NOT!
     
  11. Velius

    Velius Member

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    kool kitty89-
    "I meant that would answer Evanglider's question of the number of engines."

    Oops, sorry :oops:

    DOUGRD-
    "The pods you are referring to, which sit between the engines, are indeed external fuel tanks."

    The ones in the pic I put here have the pods outboard of the engines. I wonder if these are fuel tanks too or something else? Would their placement on the wings really matter?

    MONDARIZ-
    "Anyway, there is hardly any point in this question, as the answer has disappeared. We will never answer it. Your mothers memory of the event will continue to be of a 6 engined AC, although the AC might not have had 6 engines, maybe it just looked like 6 con trails from where she saw it. If she think the C-130 looks like what she saw, then that is what she saw."

    I kinda had a feeling this thread would come to this conclusion. My mom, not much into planes, saw this one fly overhead and wanted to give me the description of it it to see how fast I could answer it. When she was talking about the six "engines" and six trails, it threw me off from answering her as quickly as I'd hoped- so that's why I posted this question here to see if anyone else knew. But your right, what will be in my mom's memory is a six engined aircraft, even if it wasn't. Thanks for your help anyway guys!8)

    MONDARIZ-
    "The only aircraft combining straight wings and 6 engines, is the Hughes H-4 "Hercules""

    The H-4 had 8 engines and yup, this is NOT what she saw :lol:
    http://airvoila.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/05/spruce-goose.jpg
     
  12. Velius

    Velius Member

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  13. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    I wouldn't say that. If you have morning condensation, or the aircraft got rained on overnight, there could be some spray at takeoff of the residual dew, or water. Depending on atmospheric conditions, about any airplane can make vapor trails. But since there aren't any 6 engined prop aircraft in US military service, I think this will remain a mystery.
     
  14. MONDARIZ

    MONDARIZ Member

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  15. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    C-130 w/tanks, low altitude, early morning, high humidity, with flaps extended, woman with no understanding of aircraft = 6 contrails
     
  16. kool kitty89

    kool kitty89 Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]

    The H-4 certainly doesn't fit, but this one does. ;)
     
  17. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    Yep that's it a Bv-222. His mom had a glimpse of an airplane that would be priceless in todays market. Probably in forest fire fighting configuration no doubt.
     
  18. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    did it look like this one pic I snagged in my back yard
     

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  19. magnocain

    magnocain Member

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    Perhaps it was 2 c130's flying in close formation that gave the impression of a plane with 6 engines?

    Once I saw a picture of a b26 with strange pods on its sides. It took me a long time to realize that it was one normal b26 with another b26 below it, giving the impression of a strange b26.
     
  20. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    I really do think that is what she saw. She mistook the tanks for a 3rd set of engines.
     
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