navy variant based off of
Generally regarded as a fourth generation low-observable design, the A-17 is believed to have evolved from the YF-23 Advanced Tactical Fighter, and will replace the F-111 Fighter Bomber. The YF-23 lost out to Lockheed's F-22, but it's technology could easily be adapted for use on other projects.
Shaped with complex curves and compound curvature, the A-17 is contoured to minimise radar and aerothermal signatures as it carries out it's mission of electronic warfare and deep reconnaissance. The engine exhaust geometry is reminiscent of the B-2, where the aft section of the engine nacelle slopes down to meet the aft trailing edge of the tail. The engine exhaust is buried deep within the trough, effectively masking the infra-red signature from observation from below. The two large vertical tail surfaces, serve to mask the exhaust from the sides.
No positively-identifiable white world pictures exist of the plane, but sightings have been reported at RAF Boscombe Down in the UK, and Cannon AFB, New Mexico.
Two events help to identify the A-17's existence.
* In September 1994, an unusual aircraft was seen over Amarillo, Texas meeting the description of the A-17. The plane was dumping fuel, preparing for an emergency landing. On a scanner, the pilot, using the callsign "Omega", was heard reporting a malfunction. At the time, two F-111s were acting as chase planes.
* A man named Steve Douglass captured two unusual flying triangles on video. He believes they could be A-17s, but admits they could also be F-117s, Tornados, or F-14s.
Two flying triangles