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Six Engine Propeller Plane?


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  • 2 months later...

I remember the same aircraft when I lived RAF Wethersfield in about 2008. There were always aircraft flying across to the airport as it was the approach path but one afternoon a different noise caused me to run outside and look, yes it was a massive lumbering 6 prop aircraft which I had never seen before. I assumed it to be something Russian because they make that sort of thing. To this day I have never been able to identify it. It didn't appear to fly particularly fast, it seemed to lumber across the sky sounding like it was struggling. 

I just found this Web page, not sure why it didn't appear before as I have often hunted the wierd aircraft down. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just watched the movie Non Stop New York.  The plane in the movie sort of looks like a Yankee Clipper, but has six engines and shots of the cockpit only showed four throttle controls so were probably taken in an actual Clipper.  Was there ever a six engine plane like the one in the movie?  Or was it just Hollywood's exauration?  Thanks Ron

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non-stop-new-york-movie-poster.jpg?v=145

5 engined fictional  'Lisbon Clipper' from the 1937 movie

220px-Libson_Clipper.jpg

There was the Boeing 314 Clipper and Short series of seaplanes inc the Sunderland

clipper-boeing-314.jpg?v=7b3c8f9fa9e1252

The Boeing 314 Clipper was an American long-range flying boat produced by Boeing from 1938 to 1941. One of the largest aircraft of its time, it had the range to cross the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. For its wing, Boeing re-used the design from their earlier XB-15 bomber prototype.

0c20dd76b5858a025c8609d1463e0fcb.jpg

QANTAS Short Sunderland 23 C Class Empire Flying Boat 

and the Ultimate: The Hughes H-4 Hercules 1947 prototype strategic airlift flying boat 

3012.jpg?v=0bdb338eadec3cbdc049cf35474de

 

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  • 3 months later...

I saw a six-propeller military aircraft fly over central Maryland this afternoon at 20:32 UTC.  I used Flightradar24.com and I'm pretty sure what I saw was, according to Flightradar24.com, the PAAF206 Pakistan Air Force en route from Portugal to Fort Meade.  The website (https://www.flightradar24.com/2021-02-11/20:37/12x/PAAF206/26cc9423) shows a path that matches exactly what I saw, banking to land at Fort Meade (a few miles from where I was.)  It's listed as a Lockheed C130 (Hercules). 

Six clear engines, one engine was not running and I counted four blades on it.  I couldn't hear it since my neighbor was snowblowing.  I don't know how accurate Flightradar24.com is.  The body seemed longer to me, like a simple cylinder with a crude cone in front, and the wings seemed longer to accommodate a 3rd engine.  Livery was matte battleship gray, no markings, which I see somewhat often being close to Washington DC.  But I've never seen a six-propeller aircraft before!  What could it be, and how come nobody has any pics?  (I couldn't get my phone out fast enough since I didn't hear it approaching.)

Can anybody dig up any more info on the PAAF206?

Flightradar24 gives the PAAF206 an ICAO 24-bit address of 7610D8, whatever that means.  I googled that and got Flight PAF153 (https://www.radarbox.com/data/flights/PAF153) which seems to correlate with the same aircraft, but again, no info on it.  Perhaps you all can keep an eye on this specific aircraft or do some more digging? 

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Sgt.Squarehead, so what do you make of the two URLs I posted?  Maybe I'm reading the page wrong?  (I'm not really an airplane aficionado.)  Something flew over and FlightRadar page correlated that. 

I searched for the registration number 4153 and found this:  https://www.c-130.net/aircraft-database/C-130/airframe-profile/7066/ which does list 4153 as Pakastani.   But the pics there definitely have four engines, not six.  Maybe the info on FlightRadar is wrong?  Is it possible to spoof the flight tracker serial?  The plane is currently in Pakistan now, two days later, which is odd. 

I definitely saw six prop engines.

Edited by Buho
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I definitely saw six prop engines (semi-transparent discs in front of five engines, one portside engine was off showing four blades).  I wonder if it's possible that the plane callsign was spoofed for civilians, hiding a more covert operation.

That's all I got, guys.  This is the best thread on the Internet for the mysterious six-prop aircraft everyone's seeing around the country.  I hope y'all solve the mystery.

EDIT:  The shape of the aircraft I saw doesn't really match a Hercules C-130 anyway.  It was about 40% longer, more tubular, with a seemingly symmetrical cone in front for a nose, and the wings were longer to accommodate a 3rd engine on each wing.  (All dimension comparisons assuming the diameter of the body is the same as the C-130; I don't know how objectively big it really was as it flew by in the sky.)

Edited by Buho
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Let's break this down then ...

 

On 2/12/2021 at 5:15 AM, Buho said:

I saw a six-propeller military aircraft fly over central Maryland this afternoon at 20:32 UTC.  I used Flightradar24.com and I'm pretty sure what I saw was, according to Flightradar24.com, the PAAF206 Pakistan Air Force en route from Portugal to Fort Meade.  The website (https://www.flightradar24.com/2021-02-11/20:37/12x/PAAF206/26cc9423) shows a path that matches exactly what I saw, banking to land at Fort Meade (a few miles from where I was.)  It's listed as a Lockheed C130 (Hercules). 

Six clear engines, one engine was not running and I counted four blades on it.  I couldn't hear it since my neighbor was snowblowing.  I don't know how accurate Flightradar24.com is.  The body seemed longer to me, like a simple cylinder with a crude cone in front, and the wings seemed longer to accommodate a 3rd engine.  Livery was matte battleship gray, no markings, which I see somewhat often being close to Washington DC.  But I've never seen a six-propeller aircraft before!  What could it be, and how come nobody has any pics?  (I couldn't get my phone out fast enough since I didn't hear it approaching.)

Can anybody dig up any more info on the PAAF206?

Flightradar24 gives the PAAF206 an ICAO 24-bit address of 7610D8, whatever that means.  I googled that and got Flight PAF153 (https://www.radarbox.com/data/flights/PAF153) which seems to correlate with the same aircraft, but again, no info on it.  Perhaps you all can keep an eye on this specific aircraft or do some more digging? 

 

4 hours ago, Buho said:

Sgt.Squarehead, so what do you make of the two URLs I posted?  Maybe I'm reading the page wrong?  (I'm not really an airplane aficionado.)  Something flew over and FlightRadar page correlated that. 

I searched for the registration number 4153 and found this:  https://www.c-130.net/aircraft-database/C-130/airframe-profile/7066/ which does list 4153 as Pakastani.   But the pics there definitely have four engines, not six.  Maybe the info on FlightRadar is wrong?  Is it possible to spoof the flight tracker serial?  The plane is currently in Pakistan now, two days later, which is odd. 

I definitely saw six prop engines.

 

1 hour ago, Buho said:

I definitely saw six prop engines (semi-transparent discs in front of five engines, one portside engine was off showing four blades).  I wonder if it's possible that the plane callsign was spoofed for civilians, hiding a more covert operation.

That's all I got, guys.  This is the best thread on the Internet for the mysterious six-prop aircraft everyone's seeing around the country.  I hope y'all solve the mystery.

EDIT:  The shape of the aircraft I saw doesn't really match a Hercules C-130 anyway.  It was about 40% longer, more tubular, with a seemingly symmetrical cone in front for a nose, and the wings were longer to accommodate a 3rd engine on each wing.  (All dimension comparisons assuming the diameter of the body is the same as the C-130; I don't know how objectively big it really was as it flew by in the sky.)

So you're not an expert on aircraft, you're definitely sure you saw five engines turning and one not turning from several miles away while being distracted by a neighbour snow blowing.  Meanwhile all of the other evidence on the flight track, C/S and aircraft registration correlates.  This evidence shows the airframe to be a four engined C-30.

As to the covert stuff ... don't you think they'd maybe land at night?

As has been pointed out ad nauseum on this thread 'six engined C-130s' are four engined C-130s with with underwing fuel tanks between the inboard and outboard engines on both wings.

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On 2/13/2021 at 5:27 PM, Wicky said:

REGISTRATION 4153

https://www.jetphotos.com/photo/9266663

4 Engines - and with wing tanks located between engines

Well spotted.

PS - Apparently this is quite a widesprea phenomenon:

https://aviation.stackexchange.com/questions/66628/what-military-aircraft-has-six-propeller-engines

But the response is always the same.  ;)

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead
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28 minutes ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

One of these:  

TBH this one has ten engines.  ;)

Wow..... that's amazing technology and engineering.  Especially considering it was designed and built decades ago.  I would think it might go through the fuel quick with all those engines running.   

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On 2/12/2021 at 12:15 AM, Buho said:

I saw a six-propeller military aircraft fly over central Maryland this afternoon at 20:32 UTC.  I used Flightradar24.com and I'm pretty sure what I saw was, according to Flightradar24.com, the PAAF206 Pakistan Air Force en route from Portugal to Fort Meade.  The website (https://www.flightradar24.com/2021-02-11/20:37/12x/PAAF206/26cc9423) shows a path that matches exactly what I saw, banking to land at Fort Meade (a few miles from where I was.)  It's listed as a Lockheed C130 (Hercules).

On 2/13/2021 at 11:39 AM, Buho said:

Maybe the info on FlightRadar is wrong?  Is it possible to spoof the flight tracker serial?

If you're operating an international aircraft in U.S. airspace, several things must be known:

You must file a flight plan, which includes tail number or registration number of your aircraft, route of flight, scheduled time of departure and arrival, etc.
If you are crossing international boundaries, you pass through an Air Defense Identification Zone, which requires you to open and follow an IFR flight plan which includes active navigational vector control and radar monitoring by Air Traffic Control.

If your implication is such that a Top Secret modification to a Pakistani military transport aircraft is able to just fly around inside United States airspace without anyone knowing about it, or that information not being made available to civilian flight controllers who operate the controlled airspace they would have to both pass through, and identify themselves in order to transit, then I don't know what I can say and not receive a warning card for excessive obscenity and harassment.

If you like the old stuff, Atomic Café is a great channel.

I've reviewed a few of his videos and he really knows his stuff. Not to mention the comment section on each video is a goldmine of old stories and humorous anecdotes.

Edited by General Jack Ripper
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Quote

So you're not an expert on aircraft, you're definitely sure you saw five engines turning and one not turning from several miles away while being distracted by a neighbour snow blowing.

I was practically under the flight path, and it was landing a few miles away, so quite low.  The perceptual size of aircraft was about half the size of my hand stretched out in front of me -- quite easy to see -- and I tracked it for about 10 seconds from overhead to disappearing behind the treeline.  I counted five semi-transparent discs of the rotating propellers and one stopped one with four blades.  The discs were in front of the wing (tractor, not pusher).  I wasn't counting jet engines or fuel tanks.

And yes, as you found, there are other people out there who are seeing something similar.  Discounting my anecdotal evidence doesn't help anybody.

Quote

If you're operating an international aircraft in U.S. airspace, several things must be known

Thanks for the explanation. 

The only thing I can figure is FlightRadar24 data is wrong.  I played the February 11 afternoon reply out longer and didn't find any other candidate that matched the flightpath I saw.  The pics of the Pakastani bird don't match what I saw, which was solid matte gray, no markings.

Thanks for your help, all.  Maybe someone else will get their phone out fast enough to snap it.

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From your description of a feathered prop I'm almost beginning to wonder if it might be an engine test-bed aircraft, so possibly a perfectly normal four engined Hercules, but with pylons adapted to take one or more engines for testing?

Quick check suggests that even this is unlikely, as it doesn't seem to be how things are done with a C-130:

4337375523_2d40be5723_b.jpg

Unsurprising really as pylons are pylons, whereas engines require engine mounts.

What would be the point of adding two more engines to a Hercules?  If you need bigger, use a C-17.

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead
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Well whaddya know, there really was a six-engined Hercules:

"During the 60's the Air Force tested a six engine C-130 (4 turbo prop plus 2 jet engine). It was called the NC-130B 58-0712 (L/N 3507).The intention of the design was for a special version of the C-130 called the C-130C STOL (Short Take Off or Landing). But after 23 hours of testing, the Air Force retired the aircraft and turned it over to NASA."

https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/forums/topic/40933-nc-130b-58-0712-ln-3507-the-only-6-engine-c-130-made/

k6nk2W4zZU7a9Wv_Q6LDmAQD9qKr3MD4E7mXPy5w

But I'm guessing, once again, that's not your bird.  :rolleyes:

 

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On 2/18/2021 at 7:18 PM, Buho said:

The only thing I can figure is FlightRadar24 data is wrong.  I played the February 11 afternoon reply out longer and didn't find any other candidate that matched the flightpath I saw.  The pics of the Pakastani bird don't match what I saw, which was solid matte gray, no markings.

PAAF206 4153 Now up to mischief over Turkey

4153_xxx_xxx_20210208.png

and as it was photographed in Sept 2020 in Pakistan

81519_1599570234.jpg

"The body seemed longer to me, like a simple cylinder with a crude cone in front, and the wings seemed longer to accommodate a 3rd engine.  Livery was matte battleship gray, no markings"

Everyone matches apart the engine count....

 

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