PHOTO: Latest RQ-170 leak reveals new design secret

RQ-170 2 magnify 560.JPGThe Secret Projects forum has leaked a new series of images of the US Air Force’s Lockheed Martin RQ-170 Sentinel. One of the images for the first time offers the clearest view yet of the RQ-170′s nose, which reveals inlet shape as an isosceles trapezoid. The basic shape is not uncommon for such flying-wing, stealthy aircraft. The inlet aperture of the MiG Skat, for example, is very similar. But it differs greatly from the inverted-W shaping of the Boeing Phantom Ray and Northrop Grumman X-47B.


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11 Responses to PHOTO: Latest RQ-170 leak reveals new design secret

  1. Justin 24 January, 2011 at 6:39 pm #

    By inverted-W do you mean M? All joking aside, I enjoy reading your blog. Keep up the good work!

  2. Stephen Trimble 24 January, 2011 at 6:51 pm #

    Thanks for the good word, Justin. As for the M, I see what you mean.

  3. PMS 24 January, 2011 at 8:50 pm #

    I’d like to disagree with Justin. At least from the RCS vantage point, “W” and inverted “M” differ significantly!
    Compare the twin tails in Strike Eagle and in Silent Eagle, respectively ;)

  4. mike j 24 January, 2011 at 9:56 pm #

    I can’t see any images on the Secret Projects site, in either FF or IE (what’s the deal?). Are they available elsewhere?

  5. alloycowboy 25 January, 2011 at 1:29 am #

    This looks like a further development of the air inlet from the B2 Bomber and simlar to what Boeing rolled out with the Phantom Ray. This is a very good example of convergent design as we are seeing three different aerospace companies fielding very similar looking air intakes on their stealth designs. Li and Smirnov take note!

  6. jackjack 25 January, 2011 at 6:38 am #

    LOL, perhaps following china’s lead, the FBI had the pics taken down ?

  7. Ed 25 January, 2011 at 12:11 pm #

    Is it just me, or does this vehicle feature two pyramid bumps, on either side of the mid section? If so, what would they house, the wheels? Radars? Jammers? It doesn’t really seem optimal for standard weaponry.

  8. Kevin 25 January, 2011 at 2:25 pm #

    I think you need to be a logged in registered user to see the pics. I’ve noticed several internet forums doing this as of late.

  9. PMS 25 January, 2011 at 9:47 pm #

    Check e.g. the Wikipedia entries: and
    RQ stands for (unarmed) reconnaissance unmanned drone.

  10. Overscan 26 January, 2011 at 9:55 am #

    Yes, you have to be a logged on user to see the pictures. This is partly to stop people linking to the pictures from elsewhere and increasing the bandwidth usage of the site, and partly to encourage you to sign up and contribute to the site.

  11. Pseudonymous 26 January, 2011 at 11:53 am #

    ‘Stealthy’ is a stretch. Shaping implies it is more in the region of reduced observables

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