It was always an unusual-looking bird, but Scaled Composites’ Ares had a certain style. Not any more. Mojave-based photographer Alan Radecki has captured the long-stored Ares taxiing under its own power and boy does it look ugly now, covered in lumps and bumps of unknown purpose.
Ares then… (Bernard Klein Collection photo from 1000aircraftphotos.com)
…and now (Alan Radecki photo)
The Model 151 Ares was designed to meet a US Army requirement for a low-cost attack aircraft and built as a company-funded demonstrator, flying in February 1990. The Ares was designed around its 25mm Gatling gun, which resulted in a funky assymetric layout with the gun on one side and inlet for the single Pratt Canada JT15D turbofan on the other.
Scaled’s website says the Ares is available as a testbed, and that looks to be the reason it has come out of retirement. It looks quite a bit different now, with the dorsal blister, open side panel and faired box-like structure under the centre wing. Speculations on a postcard please…
(Alan Radecki photo)