LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A triangle-shaped fighter-sized aircraft — possibly never seen before — was photographed on the world’s best known “secret” base — Area 51 — and it has people talking.
Tyler Rogoway, who studies military technology, wrote about the aircraft this week in The Drive. He said satellite imagery from Planet Labs dated Jan. 26, 2022, first showed a triangle “blob on the north apron of the large southern hanger.” Better imagery in the following days gave a clearer picture of the unidentified aircraft showing more detail.
No longer a secret, Area 51, more than 80 miles north-northwest of Las Vegas and next to Groom Lake, is off-limits to the public. Area 51 emerged during the Cold War and soon became a testing ground for American spy planes such as the U-2 spy plane, SR-71 Blackbird and F-117 Nighthawk.
Since learning of this mysterious aircraft, people have taken to blog posts to analyze the photos and try and figure out what it might be.
One person on the Secret Projects blog said “I can’t help but think of the F-16XL, even if there’s definitely some slight differences in platforms/wing shape.”
Another wrote: “This mystery something on photo looks almost like Saab J-35 Draken.” Some even speculated it might not be real. “I’m of the opinion it’s probably just some model they’ve thrown up to spook everyone else.”
A few people found it hard to believe something secretive would not be covered. “Leaving something real and sight-sensitive parked on the runway for 3-4 days, unconcealed? No, they would not do that”
Rogoway goes on to write there is one secretive program that could be related to the mysterious aircraft and that’s the NGAD (Next Generation Air Dominance) demonstrator has been in flight testing. The Air Force is also pursuing hypersonic flight testing.
Rogoway has a lot more information. You can read his full story here.