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Quite Unusual ... Image Tools
Quite Unusual ...
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Quite Unusual ...
 
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11-12-2012 01:39 PM
Category: High Sierra Spotters GalleryLocal Airports (Sierra including CA/NV)Reno/Tahoe Intl. [KRNO / RNO]
Description: Although it is very easy to ID this a/c as a Bombardier bird due to the distinctive nose and those dual ventrals (can't help but see the similarity to the Dash 8), all that extra equipment underneath is rather mysterious stuff. This BD-700 (N420AG, possibly ex N161WC), using the call sign "Four Two Zero Alpha Gulf Experimental," departed 16L just a few minutes before a Navy C-40A Clipper. No way to know if the two departures were related in some way, and the only hint of the purpose of that unique equipment under the fuselage is a sighting of this same a/c earlier this year in the eastern U.S. where a NOTAM had been issued warning aircraft in the area that an Airborne [word omitted] Operation was being conducted. FA used to show its journeys but no longer does so. Sure seems a tad spooky, eh? Perhaps this one should be housed in Area 51 (meaning the former Area 51 in southern Nevada, not the new one) instead of RNO. Since there seems to be some desire to keep this strangely-equipped aircraft's purpose on the down-low, I'll never snap it on the ground or up close, but when it is airborne and anybody can see what my camera can see, my lens won't be capped.
Posted By: RNO Gary Schenauer (View all of RNO Gary Schenauer's images) Dimensions: 1180 x 666
Views: 6,642 Filesize: 447.0 KB
Replies: 5 Keywords: N420AG BD-700
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Registration: N420AG
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Make: CanonModel: Canon EOS REBEL T3i
Software: Adobe Photoshop Elements 10.0 WindowsExposureTime: 1/640
ISOSpeedRatings: 200ExposureBiasValue: 0/1
MaxApertureValue: 4375/1000MeteringMode: 5
Flash: 16FocalLength: 141/1

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Replies to Image: Quite Unusual ...
11-12-2012, 05:20 PM   #1
(KBUF) Rick Schenauer
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Re: Quite Unusual ...

Very strange a/c Gary.. Quite different. Great catch of her though!!!
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11-12-2012, 06:22 PM   #2
Ryan
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Re: Quite Unusual ...

Nice one of a rare bird Gary!
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11-13-2012, 08:58 AM   #3
RNO Gary Schenauer
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Re: Quite Unusual ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan
Nice one of a rare bird Gary!
Not that rare, Ryan. Granted, it SEEMS that it is a rare one because even tho it has existed since '98 there are only a couple pics of it as N420AG (all taken in 2012). But ... it hasn't been stored under a tarp in some obscure barn all these years. There are lots of pics of N161WC (but none since 2011) that were taken prior to a visit to BFI where a Canadian Bombardier BD-700 N161WC, serial 9006 and owned by a Mr. Washington, landed near a Boeing facility with a smooth fuselage and has not been photographed since ... and a bumpy, lumpy and antenna-laden N420AG, serial 9006 and with the exact same paint, finally began appearing only 13 years after being manufactured. () I'm thinking it didn't go there for routine warranty work, an oil change, and a tire rotation.
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11-13-2012, 11:06 AM   #4
Ryan
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Re: Quite Unusual ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by RNO Gary Schenauer
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan
Nice one of a rare bird Gary!
Not that rare, Ryan. Granted, it SEEMS that it is a rare one because even tho it has existed since '98 there are only a couple pics of it as N420AG (all taken in 2012). But ... it hasn't been stored under a tarp in some obscure barn all these years. There are lots of pics of N161WC (but none since 2011) that were taken prior to a visit to BFI where a Canadian Bombardier BD-700 N161WC, serial 9006 and owned by a Mr. Washington, landed near a Boeing facility with a smooth fuselage and has not been photographed since ... and a bumpy, lumpy and antenna-laden N420AG, serial 9006 and with the exact same paint, finally began appearing only 13 years after being manufactured. () I'm thinking it didn't go there for routine warranty work, an oil change, and a tire rotation.
I should have been a litte more specific, a "rarely" photographed since being modified bird! Still a nice shot!
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11-14-2012, 12:07 PM   #5
gmailander
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Re: Quite Unusual ...

Another great photo of an unusual airplane. I like seeing landing gears in various stages of retraction. This photo is the best one of this airplane that is on the internet. Your comment about a NOTAM and a missing word got my attention. Typing the N number into Google brings up "Airborne laser operations in U.S. airspace". I know there are many applications using airborne lasers such as topographic mapping and other measurements in the atmosphere. Now, I would like to know who manages this planes' operations.

The USAF is operating two or three E-11A's (BD-700) with Battlefield Airborne Communication Node(BACN) equipment. The 451st Tactical Airborne Gateway is operating this aircraft in Kandahar, Afghanistan. This aircraft is versatile.
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