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Six Engine Propeller Plane?

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I live within 10 miles of O'Hare Airport, and directly in line with one of the runways, which makes for occasionally noisy moments, but some rewarding ones as well. I believe its runway L22, which is one of the shorter ones, so we don't often get 747s or A-340s, though they do show up on occasion. It was, however, the runway that the A-380 landed on last year in a bit of a surprise in its first O'Hare visit, but regrettably I was not home to see it.

Anyway, was making coffee in the kitchen this morning and heard a distinctive propeller sound, which I had not heard before, and ran out side to see a plane that I hadn't ever seen before. It was heading away from me, so I had a view of it from the rear, but I am almost certain that it had 6 propeller (turboprop?) engines beneath a high wing. I suppose its possible I mistook an engine for something else hung under the wing, but there were three 'things' underneath each wing, and each appeared identical. The propeller sound was distinctive as well - a few years back we had the occasional turboprop overhead, but they appear to have been phased out, and they were all smaller, two or four engines at most.

My google-fu has failed me in trying to find anything that fits that category, but I know that some of those on this board are well-versed in civil aviation, and am hopeful that someone can clue me in and/or convince me I wasn't hallucinating? I don't think it was a historic aircraft - though it certainly could have been military.

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Ya know we're nuts when we run outside from the sounds of aircraft, lol.

My wife was born in Elmhurst as Glen Ellen didn't have a hospital.

I grew up in the flight path of Willow Run, MI and remember those old four engine prop monsters shaking the house late at night.

We currently live near our airport and get visits by military craft such as C130s, C17s, Blackhawks and such. The Cs do touch and go's. I recently ran out when I heard a group of helos taking off and heading toward the house. Too cool.

But I don't know the answer to your question.

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I'm thinking Elmar must be right. I've seen a Hercules overhead before - during the Air and Water show a few years ago, the Blue Angels' one passed overhead when landing.

All six nacelles sure looked the same, but like I mentioned, it was flying away, I only had a rear view, and there don't appear to be any other candidates, so it probably was the C-130.

Many of the locals complain about O'Hare noise, and the pending expansion, but I see it as a plus. What was really strange was in the post-9/11 days, when there was no airtraffic for awhile, and it was so quiet.

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I'm thinking that Elmar got it right too. I didn't find a shot from behind and below, but from the front it looks like this.

Regarding the noise under approach paths, during the 1950s the local air base had C-124s going in and out on a daily basis. These were powered by four recip engines similar to those used on the B-29 and were incredibly noisy. One day we were visiting some friends who lived directly under the flight path not far from the end of the runway. As I sat out in the front yard and watched the C-124s make their landing approaches, I noticed that each time one passed over the tops of the trees growing in the yard would wave in the slipstream. It was noisy that day. I still don't know how my friends stood it day in and day out, but maybe you can get used to anything.


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Spanish Bombs,

Esteemed foe of yore! I could've sworn I saw some Russian pusher? transport pictured that had six engines driving propfans. Got nowhere in my search, though, and it was hampered by a crummy Net connection. Want to say the thing was at Farnborough or one of the big Middle East defense shows. Further digging reveals I may be thinking of the An-70, but it, alas, has only four engines.



"I re-mem-ber--doing the time warp...."


John Kettler

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When I was a schoolboy playing rugby we used to have matches against a school that was basically underneath final approach to Sydney airport. Inevitably a 747 would come in, almost sucking the goal posts away. Visiting players, spectators and referees would end up frozen to the spot, staring in the air with mouths gaping....and the home team would run in a try.

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Appreciate the continued input, but have settled my mind that it was a Hercules with extra fuel nacelles, hopefully on its way to some sort of covert op against Wisconsin or Minnesota. Definitely a prop sound, JP Jones, which is why I ran out to look at it in the first place.

It was definitely not a Gigant, or some Blohm and Voss variant, Wicky, though I like that picture. Now, there was a time about 10 years ago when I was still living in Chicago when I was walking down the street and heard a distinctive propeller sound, and looked overhead to see a Ju 52. I was so taken that I walked into the middle of Clark Street and nearly got hit by a car, which I figure would have made me the last WW2 Luftwaffe-caused casualty.


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  • 1 month later...

This afternoon saw what appeared to be a 6 engine turbo prop heading

west towards Portland OR. looked more like DC 6 fuselage both DC 6s and

C-130s fly out of local airport for fire fighting in summer with P 3 s mostly

now after all the C-130 crashes. It was way high and partly cloudy . By the time I got binoculars was way past.

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  • 3 years later...

I live about 20 kilometers from Helsinki Airport or (IATA: HEL, ICAO: EFHK). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helsinki_Airport

I've been googling now for a couple of years of an unknown grey plane that landed over our house in the beginning October 2009 at 4 pm local time. This happened just a few days before Hillary Clinton visited Moscow and I came in to the conclusion that this plane somehow had something to do with Mrs Clinton's visit to Russia.

The plane was un-marked, shining new, no visible windows, military gray in color and with 3 propeller engines on both wings. I saw the plane for about 15 seconds at an altitude of about 700 to 1000 meters, which is the normal altitude for approaching planes from this direction (NW). I saw it from the right hand side, underneath and from behind as it was decending towards the Helsinki Airport.

It looked very much like Fokker 50, but with much longer wings and fuselage. And it was absolutely not C-130, but much lighter looking. Even resembled U-2 but with 6 propeller engines. And I am absolutely sure it had those 6 propeller engines, because I saw 6 lines of exhaust smoke leaving the plane. I have talked with a lot of people who work at the airport and for Finnair and other companies, but nobody has seen or heard anything. Maybe it just did a flyover.

I would really appreciate if somebody would be able to solve this mystery.

This news is about Mrs Clinton’s visit to Moscow in 2009:

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