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Woverby
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477 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I was riding from Durango Colorado to the Four Corners on Highway-160 over Memorial Day weekend. As we were riding in a rural area I noticed what I thought was a plane coming towards us for an emergency landing on the highway. I was looking around for a "Plan-B", when I realized it was a remote controlled plane. It turned 180 degrees and then hovered about 20 feet above the highway. As I rode under it, I realized it was a remote controlled Osprey with what appeared to be a camera and possbly a radar device. I did some searching on the Internet and learned that a remote controlled Osprey is currently unavailable, but that some remote aircraft company is working on one. So, my question, "has anyone heard if the Military, or some law enforcement agency is using such a craft for speed traps, drug smuggling enforcement, human smuggling checks, etc?". It was surreal.
 

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Ducking for cover!
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8,455 Posts
I have heard of some states who monitor highways using aircraft... they don't specify what TYPE of aircraft, however.
 

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Premium Member
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Is this what you saw?



It is called the Bell 918 Eagle Eye. There is a larger version called the Bell HV-911 that was developed for the US Coast Guard but later cancelled. There is a single turboshaft engine in the fuselage that drives the rotors through gearboxes and shafts. The US Navy fooled around with it for a while to before settling on the MQ-8 Firescout, all of which are currently grounded after we lost a couple due to loss of radio contact over or around Libya.

http://cryptome.org/deepwater/BRO/ICGS_VTOL.PDF
 

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George
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Even if that thing wrote a ticket every minute of the day, they'd never recoup the operating costs!
 

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Premium Member
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Even if that thing wrote a ticket every minute of the day, they'd never recoup the operating costs!
I would wager it was being tested in Colorado to see how well the infrared sensors can detect fires and see through smoke, as well as how well the data link works in mountainous terrain.
 

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Woverby
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Discussion Starter #9
Yes very similar, but perhaps a four or five foot "wing span". I was riding around 70 MPH, so had relatively short time to view the aircraft. It did fly towards us like a regular prop aircraft, and then hovered above us on the highway. According to reports on the internet, there is no remote control model of the Osprey on the market (difficult to design and operate, no surprise......).
 

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Woverby
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Discussion Starter #11
I do not know abut the differences in the two actual "real" air crafts. This was a "model", remote controlled aircraft.
 

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Premium Member
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Yes very similar, but perhaps a four or five foot "wing span". I was riding around 70 MPH, so had relatively short time to view the aircraft. It did fly towards us like a regular prop aircraft, and then hovered above us on the highway. According to reports on the internet, there is no remote control model of the Osprey on the market (difficult to design and operate, no surprise......).
The remote control tilt rotor I showed you, the Bell Eagle Eye 918, has been flying since 1998. The South Koreans have this thing which better fits the size description you gave.


Smaller yet:

 

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Woverby
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Discussion Starter #15
Philthy, the first clip you posted looks quite similar to what I saw, in size and shape. I do not remember hearing any noise from the motor(s), but that said, my bike is fairly loud with the Rinehart exhaust. I did see a red led, with what looked like a camera or some type of radar detector.
 

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Registered Boozer
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drones are here to stay and watch us. how do you like them apples?
 

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Premium Member
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drones are here to stay and watch us. how do you like them apples?
You know, the U-2 has been flying around the US since the late 1950's and it has sensors and cameras that do things no UAV can do. In fact, after more than a decade of trying to make the big Global Hawk do the full U-2 mission and finally retire the U-2, the USAF had to give up trying and instead has retired it's 18 Global Hawk UAVs. The USAF decided the U-2 will be cheaper to fly and can do more than the Global Hawk so it will soldier on until at least 2025. The Global Hawks are being mothballed in Palmdale.

Aside from the U-2, you have the Navy's EP-3 and the USAF's RC-135 Rivet Joint, EC-130 Compass Call and E-8 JSTARS aircraft flying around with sensors that are a heck of a lot more powerful than anything any UAV could possibly carry. Find out what these aircraft can do and how many years they have been flying around the US and maybe you won't worry so much about the people in our military abusing your privacy. After all, we are citizens just like you. If we wanted to snoop we could have been snooping for decades with manned aircraft.
I'd worry more about how you were going to afford retirement than whether or not some USAF crew is monitoring your internet ramblings here.
 
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