Just on the heals of the Amarillo, Texas sighting in March of this year, a new photo has emerged of an extraordinary exotic aircraft over the skies of Kansas. The photo taken by Naturalist/Photographer Jeff Templin of Wichita, Kansas in February also shows a triangular aircraft two solid contrails sprinting across the sky. Is this the now legendary Aurora or is this a new aircraft? One thing is evident, the flight characteristics of this aircraft are very similar to the aircraft seen in Amarillo. According to Templin the aircraft was silent, as was the previous aircraft sighting, which would potentially indicate one of two things. Either this new aircraft was fitting with sonic suppression device or it was at a very high altitude moving very fast.
Jeff Templin – Wichita, Kansas.
Right over the city, clear as a bell. Anyone that was looking up would have seen it. You don’t usually see military or even civilian aircraft’s jets that leave contrails making those kind of severe departures off of the given route.
[It was] Absolutely silent, no sound.
When I put it on my computer and processed them, I was surprised to see this triangular shape that is not like anything you typically see. It was one of ours or at least man made for sure, so unidentified yes, but alien, no.
Both aircraft sighted were silent, triangular, dual engined, and flying at high altitude in a generally Eastern direction. The direction of flight is something which I had previous identified as potentially putting it on a course for the Ukraine or in the case of the March photo possibly a Cuban flyby. Regardless of the ultimate destination the emergence of two sets of photos just weeks apart appear to show that this aircraft has become operationalized and is now in use.
The position and relative altitude of the aircraft would also seem to represent a home base in the west and most likely Nellis AFB due to the long runways. Nellis AFB is often taken for granted as the home base to many things, and comments like this generally get a round of “of course” or “uh duh” but in the world of black budgets one should never take anything for granted. In fact for many years there were rumors of a base in Scotland being used to service Aurora and other aircraft in their flights over Europe.
One of the interesting components of these photos is the contrail is that they could show the use of a aerospike engine on the aircraft. Aerospike? Whats that??
The basic idea behind the aerospike is that at relatively low altitude the ambient pressure compresses the wake against the nozzle. The recirculation in the base zone of the wedge can then raise the pressure there to near ambient. Since the pressure on top of the engine is ambient, this means that base gives no overall thrust (but it also means that this part of the nozzle doesn’t lose thrust by forming a partial vacuum, thus the base part of the nozzle can be ignored at low altitude).
There is a project which has been reported in the past to construct a very quiet aerospike engine. Aerospike engines have long been evaluated as the possible engine to place aircraft into low earth orbit as part of the single stage to orbit (SSTO) program. The aerospike would be consistent with the rumors of the extremely high altitude of the Aurora as well as many of the other exotic aircraft we have heard about. Additionally the aerospike would be well suited for that kind of service.
Previously seen photos and reports of the Aurora featured the “doughnut on a rope” contrail long believed to be an artifact of a pulse detonation engine. The “doughnut on a rope” contrails which had been widely seen across the west in the late 1990’s. These contrails also belonged to a triangular aircraft and may have been a different aircraft or a different test variant. The key difference in shape being that the Aurora is purported to be more wedge shaped where this is more like a equilateral triangle.
With the recent sightings, especially in Texas where multiple aircraft were seen together, it would appear this new aircraft is indeed operationalized, but is it an Aurora? Maybe… This aircraft does appear to be more triangular then the concept drawings of the Aurora, in fact it more resembles a A12 Avenger 2 (the cancelled Navy project), but the A12 had neither the speed, altitude or the range to be this aircraft. Also its presence inland would be curious unless its being tested. The other element of this which seems to discount the A-12 is the size. The A-12 was fronted as a replacement for the F-18 as a carrier based fighter and had a fairly small size.
Its also important to point out that we do not truly know what the Aurora looks like. We have concept drawings, even from Popular Science (see right) but that does not mean these renderings are accurate. What we do know is that its exotic and making flights, at least in some cases with other aircraft of the same type. It would also appear from the contrail this aircraft is using a aerospike engine which would indicate the aircraft flys very high and very fast.
I have no firm evidence but it would be my belief we are looking at something new, possibly a very high speed bomber.
The Wichita Plane Silhouette
In doing some research for this article, one of the interesting discussions which seemed to be evolving was a discussion about if the plane in the photo was indeed an Aurora or some other misidentified aircraft. As part of this discussion I would like to show conclusively that the aircraft seen in this photo is not misidentified and is the mythical Aurora or some other exotic aircraft.
“Aircraft” vs B2 Bomber:
“Aircraft” vs F117 Fighter:
“Aircraft” vs X-47B:
“Aircraft” vs X-48C:
“Aircraft” vs Aurora:
“Aircraft” vs A-12:
Comparison of March and February Photos