Monday, December 12, 2011
There were lots of UFO sightings in Kansas today. It turns out, it's a very expensive piece of military equipment headed to Pax River, Maryland. Eventually, the plane will be boarded onto an aircraft carrier for flight testing.
It was the talk of the town in Winfield and Augusta Monday, as the very unusual looking aircraft made its way across the country.
"It pretty much took up all four lanes," explained Kevin McClung, who owns KPM Computers on Main Street in Winfield. "What I heard, it was about 32 feet wide."
What 'it' is - is an unmanned drone aircraft built by Northrop Grumman in Palmdale, California. Here is what the finished product looks like.
A Northrop Grumman spokesperson tells us that the aircraft, in fact, is not a UFO. It's a plane that will eventually be able to provide surveillance of military targets and possibly even unmanned air strikes.
"This is really the first time a tail-less, unmanned airplane will be taking off and landing from an aircraft carrier," said Spokesperson Cyndi Wegerbauer. "This is a strike size, low-observable airplane. It's pretty unusual, pretty powerful. It will change naval aviation."
For those who saw it passing through Winfield and Augusta Monday, it caught them by surprise. McClung began snapping pictures as fast as he could.
"I stood right here and just snapped pictures. There was no time to do anything else. We just waved at the UFO driving by," he joked.
"It really did look like a UFO," said Ashley McCoskey. "It was circular and oblong like an actual UFO. It was standing on a trailer and just being pulled by a semi. It was all covered by a tarp, though."
"You can attribute it to some of its sisters like the B-2," Wegerbauer said. "It has a similar shape. That kite shape where it's without the tail. It's good for flying in difficult and turbulent air, especially out at sea."
The X47-B's final destination will be Pax River, Maryland, but we don't know exactly which aircraft carrier it'll be going to.