Lockheed XR-7A Thunderdart NRO
The Aurora is allegedly an aircraft that was developed in secret by the United States Air Force (USAF). Many believe it is the fastest, most maneuverable and stealthy aircraft to date. Some have said that the capabilities of the craft indicate that it is a result of reverse engineering from captured or crashed extraterrestrial space-craft. Others believe that it is of incredibly advanced, though entirely terrestrial, manufacture.
Name and look
The build and look of this/these aircraft are supposedly flat black and make an isosceles triangle in shape, the full body unknown. It may also have a projection on the craft's bottom, which may or may not hold the engines, rumored to be Pulse Detonation Wave Engine's (PWDEs), as suggested by Bill Sweetman in his book entitled Aurora; The Pentagon's Secret Hypersonic Spyplane. According to Sweetman's design, the aircraft is tipped at the end of a cylindrical body, from the sides of which the wings move out a slanted angle and end connected to create the triangle look. The most well-known Aurora artist, Adrian Mann, creates Computer Generated Images (CGIs) of the craft using a similar design. However, there are also renditions of the craft being more geometric, such as an elongated triangle with a slight slant at the cockpit, as seen in the Testors's model of the craft. There are also designs that resemble the SR-71 Blackbird Aircraft. All of the designs incorporate a type of rudder on the end of each wing.
These craft are what we apply the name Aurora to. The name was first discovered in 1985 with a censor's slip of the word Aurora next to the SR-71 and U-2 Dragon Lady under the 1987 Production Fundings. According to Aviation Week and Space Technology (AW&ST), a popular aviation magazine that gives out information on black (Secret) and developing projects as well as normal aviation news, the Aurora was not one aircraft, rather than several different aircraft and projects, including the aircraft we consider the Aurora. However, the name of the aircraft or project was most likely changed after such a slip.
The rumored plane could have been a replacement of the SR-71 Blackbird. The SR-71 was retired without a struggle from the United States Air Force (USAF) in 1998, while being released in only 1966. This plane was the fastest in the USAF, it could reach a top speed of Mach 3.5 and flew high enough to out fly a surface to air (SAM) missile. The secret to its success was distance from the ground and the high speed. Missiles are unable to catch it because of limited thrust and fuel; they just burned out before getting close to the Blackbird. The aircraft was retired early, and with this speed and possibilities, it led many to believe that it was replaced. Some people think that it was the Aurora.
If it did replace the SR-71, it was better in one or more ways. Many believe that the Aurora's top speed could be anywhere between Mach 6-20, that it could take photographs at such high resolution that it can outrank satellites in our atmosphere built for spying on enemies, and could do maneuvers that would cause death in the pilot from the extreme g-forces. Many assume that this is possible with alien technology that crashed over the years or black project engines like PWDEs that move it faster than any other aircraft. According to AW&ST, the PWDE is exactly what it uses.
However, a popular belief is that the Aurora had a fatal error: It was extremely hard to fly without crashing the craft. However, this rumor is obviously false; if an Aurora had crashed, it would be extremely difficult to cover up and could be seen from satellite pictures.
Many believe that the aircraft was developed by Lockheed Martin's Advanced Development Projects Unit, or Skunkworks, who were responsible for the SR-71, the U-2, the F-117 Stealth/Nighthawk and many of the smaller and lesser known black projects. If so, the aircraft most likely would have began testing in the early 1980s, as many aircraft are tested for many years without being known. Some are still black, such as the Aurora is rumored to be. The aircraft then went into use, according to this theory, at around 1990 and, according to AW&ST, ran around $1 million per flight.
Another theory is that the aircraft was reversed engineered from crashed alien spacecraft, and uses anti-gravity and/or hover technology.
The most common belief is that the Aurora was tested and kept at the Groom Lake/Area 51 facility, as well as Royal Air Force (RAF) Machrihanish in Scotland, the Lockheed testing area, Plant 42 in CA, Beale Air Force Base (AFB) in CA, and Edwards AFB in CA.
The Area 51 facility theory was supported by satellite images taken of the base in the early 1980s and revealed just recently, showing a black triangle parked in front of the massive Hangar 18 at the base. The aircraft is closely parked to an F-115.
The aircraft has also been seen numerous times by people living in Rachel, NV, the closest town to the base.
A Donuts on a Rope contrail created by a normal tanker aircraft
The Aurora's contrail is rumored to be a long, slow-dissipating trail with 'rings' or 'loops' around it, called a Donuts on a Rope trail (also Donuts-on-a-Rope, Donuts trail, Rings on a String, Donuts on a String, Loops on a String and Rings on a Rope).
However, this trail is made not only by the Aurora, some sites speculate. Dreamland Resort (See external link) give examples as to aircraft that make these contrails that we see everyday, suggesting that the contrail could be made by any aircraft with the right weather conditions.
Confessions of an Area 51 Employee claims that Aurora existed and went on to have an "Aurora 2". "Mr. X" has this to say about the Aurora 2:
ats55291_darkerleftquote.jpg Anyway, I'm looking through the window, and in the middle of this cavern, hangar, whatever, and I see this monstrous work of art. I really can't describe it, except for the fact that I know it must be some type of aircraft. It's an amorphous, organic fusion of angles and curves. It looks like a giant, fanciful insect, albeit an extremely elegant insect. And my buddy tells me, "You're looking at the Aurora 2." Perfect stealth. Capable of reaching speeds in excess of mach 9. He goes on to tell me that the weaponry includes air-to-air missiles, microwave cannon, and the most accurate, longest-ranged air-to-surface laser-guided missile system ever conceived. And I must tell you, this thing looked ultra-cool. It made what you see in Star Wars and Star Trek look like it comes out of the bronze age. And I want to stand there and look at it, but my buddy says, "we better go now before they find out what I'm doing here." So I reluctantly left with him. But I must say I'm very ambivalent about what they are doing in Area 51. These highly skilled, highly intelligent technicians and scientists--not aliens--but highly skilled craftsmen are developing some of the--actually not some of the, but ALL of the--most futuristic defense devices imaginable. Yet, that will always be tempered with the fact that these incredible creations, like the Black Manta and Aurora 2, exist for a very dark agenda. And therein lies the rub. ats55293_darkerrightquote.jpg
Unfortunately, "Mr. X" was a hoaxer, and his information was only there to lead on viewers and have fun off their gullibility.
In his aforementioned book, The Hunt For Zero Point, Nick Cook claims to have come across evidence to support the Aurora program while touring the Lockheed Skunk Works facility:
ats55291_darkerleftquote.jpg Just before I left the building, I stopped in front of a large chart on the wall of the lobby area. I hadn't noticed it on the way in. It proudly illustrated the lineage of every Skunk Works aircraft since the XP-80. Past the picture of the U-2, past the SR-71 Blackbird and the F-117A Stealth Fighter, past the YF-22 and DarkStar, and there was something called "Astra." Sitting at the top of the tree, Astra looked like an ultra-high-speed reconnaissance aircraft; every pundit's dream of how Aurora ought to look. It was difficult to gauge Lindeke's reaction because he did not remove his sunglasses, but he knew as well as I that the Skunk Works had built nothing since DarkStar; and DarkStar, being unmanned, looked nothing like "Astra." In the car I pressed him for an answer and he promised to come back to me. It was several weeks later, long after I returned to England, that he finally did. "Astra was a high-speed airliner that we studied in the 1970s that got canned," he announced without any preamble. "I checked." It took me a moment to absorb this. "The thing I saw was at the very top of the chart, Ron, and it was most certainly not an airliner." ats55293_darkerrightquote.jpg
Two aircraft that are thought to be A-17s that look almost exactly like the Aurora
* In August of 1989, Chris Gibson of the oil rig Galveston Key sighted a formation of two F-111, a KC-135 and a flat black triangular aircraft. Gibson was unable to identify the mystery aircraft, though part of the Royal Observer Corps (ROC) and was specially trained to identify aircraft at a glance.
* In June 1991, unusual sonic booms are heard throughout California and are tracked to Nevada, stopping around the Nellis AFB or Area 51 facility area.
* In November 1991, Florida experienced the same sonic booms.
* In February 1992, a report of an Aurora-like craft was spotted at night near Beale AFB.
* February 1992, a RAF Air Traffic Controller (ATC) sighted a radar blip speed up to Mach 6 from RAF Machrihanish.
* In Earlier 1992, an aircraft fitting the description of Aurora was sighted being loaded into a C-5 in the Lockheed Skunkworks Plant.
* In Summer 1992, a 200ft long aircraft that matched the Aurora's build, but with a lighter color was sighted at night numerous times around the Mojave Desert on approach to a Lockheed-controlled RCS range.
* October 1992, a sighting near Beale AFB was reported. An Aurora-like craft, two F-117s and a KC-135Q (which carries the JP-7 fuel of the SR-71) were flying at night.
* Amarillo, TX has the first sighting of a Donuts on a Rope contrail in October, 1992.
* In October 1992, double sonic booms were heard in California, going about Mach 3 towards the Area 51 facility.
* January 1995 yields a sighting from two British Airways pilots at Manchester Airport in England.
* July 1996, Orange County, CA is hit with a sonic boom.
* Palmdale, CA residents hear a 'screaming takeoff' from Palmdale AFB.
* Tampa, Fl 2005 MacDill Airforce Base described to reporters the "2.7 earthquake" on Friday afternoon heard by both central and western Floridians was "2 F-18 jets landing at the air force base". The personal experience of the author of this article, located in Clearwater, Florida (Pinellas County), was that the event shook and resonated all windows in his house for approximately a 10 second period (6 booms sounds a similar account). The event was highly unusual and earthquake seemed implausible yet the best description of the event. Sonic boom was considered but the duration specifically made justification of a sonic boom difficult to believe. The wide area of coverage and duration as well as reported location of the event is met with great skepticism. MacDill AFB is the center for Middle East operations and the epicenter of the "earthquake". MacDill AFB as the center of operations in the Middle East and the 2.7 registration of the event in Orlando (east of MacDill by 70+ miles) makes the scenario of supersonic flight by something classified more likely. The only reported military aircraft was a cargo plane at that time. As those who follow program data such as X43 and Aurora know, supersonic aircraft can and are deployed by cargo planes.
Possible (theorized) explanations
* Optical phenomena
* Lights reflecting off the bottom of birds
* Silhouetted flocks of birds in formation
* Normal military jets whose look has been distorted by weather, sun, etc.
* Misidentification of normal objects
If an FOIA request is made for the Aurora, no information will be found. The military, CIA, and US Government will deny existence of the Aurora.
The chairman of Lockheed has been quoted saying: "Yes, there is an Aurora, however I believe that was the codename for the Northrop B-2A Spirit, wasn't it?"
On an Area 51 documentary on the History Channel, an official was interviewed. The official stated that, "I wish we had an Aurora,[...] but the fact is, we don't."
In fiction popular culture
* In the X-Files episode "Dreamland", Agents Scully and Mulder chase an Aurora.
* An episode of JAG features a sighting of the aircraft.
* The movie Falcon Down, created by the Sci-Fi Channel, features an Aurora-like aircraft called Falcon.
* The film Aurora: Operation Intercept gives in depth details on the Aurora.
* In the movie Broken Arrow, the Aurora is briefly mentioned.
* Props from the movie Stealth were believed to be the Aurora until they were identified.
* Command and Conquer: Generals, a computer game, features the Aurora.
* Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon, a popular game for computer, Xbox, Playstation2 and GameCube, features a mission to destroy a crashed Aurora on the Desert Siege expansion.
* A Nintendo 64 and Playstation game named Vigilante 8 features three Auroras in the Area 51 level.
* The Playstation game Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere, the Aurora can be unlocked to fly.
* In the game F-22 ADF and its sequel, Total Air War, the Aurora can be glimpsed.
* Jane's Fighter Anthology flight simulator has a mission in which you must fly an Aurora.
* The PC game Spec Ops- Rangers Lead the Way features a mission involving the Aurora.
* The Aurora can be seen in an underground level of Area 51 in the game Area 51 and appears during and shortly after the main character speaks about the rumors of Area 51, including "Secret Spyplanes".
* The plane is mentioned and used in Deception Point by Dan Brown.
* The Atlantis books use the Aurora in a critical role. The books are by Greg Donegan.
* The aircraft is mentioned in Frederick Forsyth's The Fist of God.
* The plane is mentioned and used in the book Nano by John Robert Marlow.
* The Area 51 book series uses the Aurora. The series is by Robert Doherty, writer of the Atlantis series.
* The plane is mentioned and used in the book Chains of Command by Dale Brown.
* The plane is mentioned by a soldier in the book Area 7 By Matthew Reilly
* The plane is mentioned in the pc game flight simulator x, in the groomlake mission
Does the United States Air Force or one of America's intelligence agencies have a secret hypersonic aircraft capable of a Mach 6 performance? Continually growing evidence suggests that the answer to this question is yes. Perhaps the most well-known event which provides evidence of such a craft's existence is the sighting of a triangular plane over the North Sea in August 1989 by oil-exploration engineer Chris Gibson. As well as the famous "skyquakes" heard over Los Angeles since the early 1990s, found to be heading for the secret Groom Lake installation in the Nevada desert, numerous other facts provide an understanding of how the aircraft's technology works. Rumored to exist but routinely denied by U.S. officials, the name of this aircraft is Aurora.
The outside world uses the name Aurora because a censor's slip let it appear below the SR-71 Blackbird and U-2 in the 1985 Pentagon budget request. Even if this was the actual name of the project, it would have by now been changed after being compromised in such a manner. The plane's real name has been kept a secret along with its existence. This is not unfamiliar though, the F-117a stealth fighter was kept a secret for over ten years after its first pre-production test flight. The project is what is technically known as a Special Access Program (SAP). More often, such projects are referred to as "black programs". So what was the first sign of the existence of such an aircraft? On 6 March 1990, one of the United States Air Force's Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird spyplanes shattered the official air speed record from Los Angeles to Washington's Dulles Airport. There, a brief ceremony marked the end of the SR-71's operational career. Officially, the SR-71 was being retired to save the $200-$300 million a year it cost to operate the fleet. Some reporters were told the plane had been made redundant by sophisticated spy satellites. But there was one problem, the USAF made no opposition towards the plane's retirement, and congressional attempts to revive the program were discouraged. Never in the history of the USAF had a program been closed without opposition. Aurora is the missing factor to the silent closure of the SR-71 program. Testing such a new radical aircraft brings immense costs and inconvenience, not just in the design and development of a prototype aircraft, but also in providing a secret testing place for aircraft that are obviously different from those the public are aware of.
Groom Dry Lake, in the Nevada desert, is home to one of America's elite secret proving grounds. Here is Aurora's most likely test location. Comparing today's Groom Lake with images of the base in the 1970s, it is apparent that many of the larger buildings and hangars were added during the following decade. Also, the Groom Lake test facility has a lake-bed runway that is six miles long, twice as long as the longest normal runways in the United States. The reason for such a long runway is simple: the length of a runway is determined either by the distance an aircraft requires to accelerate to flying speed, or the distance that the aircraft needs to decelerate after landing. That distance is proportional to the speed at which lift-off takes place. Usually, very long runways are designed for aircraft with very high minimum flying speeds, and, as is the case at Edwards AFB, these are aircraft that are optimized for very high maximum speeds. Almost 25,000 feet of the runway at Groom Lake is paved for normal operations.
Lockheed's Skunk Works, now the Lockheed Advanced Development Company, is the most likely prime contractor for the Aurora aircraft. Throughout the 1980s, financial analysts concluded that Lockheed had been engaged in several large classified projects. However, they weren't able to identify enough of them to account for the company's income. Technically, the Skunk Works has a unique record of managing large, high-risk programs under an incredible unparalleled secrecy. Even with high-risk projects the company has undertaken, Lockheed has a record of providing what it promises to deliver.
Model designer John Andrews of Testor, Corp. - a reputable plastic model company - believes that the code name Aurora is not one supersecret spyplane, but actually a system comprised of two or more aircraft. Andrews' SR-75 Penetrator model is based on sightings of an as-yet unidentified plane that many have three roles: (1) reconnaissance missions over highly defended areas; (2) airborne sensing of radioactive weapons materials; and (3) as a mothership that launches small satellites or a delta-shaped hypersonic daughtercraft from its back. The picture at the top of the page depicts an XR-7 Thunderdart riding "piggyback" on the SR-75. The Tunderdart uses a combination of jet and pulse-detonation wave engines to reach a never-before-achieved speed of Mach 7, or roughly 5,370 miles per hour. That's going from New York city to Los Angeles in twenty-seven point six minutes.