Discussion of aviation matters that are not specifically to do with VATSIM
By Lorenzo Stobbione 1368867
#528189 Hi all,
I'm opening this topic because I am curious to know about the way in which B2 Spirit operations are usually managed.
I've seen a very nice documentary on the net which explained that one of the key factors of the success of a mission of this bombardier is the secretness of the mission and an anecdote was told of a mission aborted because of too many twits of the people who spotted it after takeoff.

Since this bombardier can fly several thousands of miles before reaching its target and it was told that some mission to Iraq were departing from USA territory I was asking myself how those operations were fitting into the traffic patterns of civil aviation since I think that, at least for safety reasons, it has to follow some sort of routing into civil airspace to avoid collisions with other planes.

I would be happy to hear some opinions on how this kind of operations are conducted in order to both keep secrecy and safety.

Thank you!
By Steven Perry 810054
#528211 Anecdotally, an ex-FAA controller told me a story that ATC pointed out a B2 to a commercial airliner as either another type of aircraft or as "type unknown". The commercial pilot then broadcast for all to hear "that sure does look like a B2 stealth bomber!" This was supposedly just hours prior to the opening of the air war in Iraq in the early 2000s.

My guess is that the story is apocryphal.

I doubt you'll get a full, truthful answer from anyone who does know.
By Johnny Coughlan 861497
#528222 Air Force One flew George Bush to Iraq for thanksgiving in 2003, they pretended to be a Glufstream private jet en-route from Andrews AFB then onto Iraq. Apparently over London another pilot called london control claiming they saw Air Force One.

https://youtu.be/9we7Yx-z8C0

Yes this type of subterfuge happens and they can get away with it if done correctly.
By Lorenzo Stobbione 1368867
#528367 Hi all,
thank you for your answers.. I took the example of the B2 spirit bomber because it was what triggered my curiosity.
Since I live in Europe (now in Belgium but before I lived in Italy) I saw and heard a lot about all NATO interventions and, considering the fact that the scenarios where limited wars and that the aircrafts where departing from airbases located in Italy and other countries, I was asking in general how these actions are managed.
Air traffic has not been suspended for those interventions and fighters were passing through a lot of civil airspaces.
Hence the question.. in some way the situation has been managed, I was curious to see if it was done via Notams, interdicted corridors and so on...

For secret flights, well, they are secret so I don't expect a full and exhaustive answer..but it is anyway curious to understand how this kind of secrecy can be kept in an airspace which is crowded and which has, as main feature, its ability of track and control everything which is inside it.
By Kenneth Haught 1067681
#528382
Lorenzo Stobbione 1368867 wrote:Hi all,
...but it is anyway curious to understand how this kind of secrecy can be kept in an airspace which is crowded and which has, as main feature, its ability of track and control everything which is inside it.


An important note of consideration in this statement is to remember that "normal" civil radar stations do not "track" everything. They merely display returns from the transponder located in each aircraft (the primary target) and correlates it with stored flight data (secondary) to "paint" the picture for the controller.

Typical military surveillance on the other hand, actually returns all targets which reflect the radio waves, and is filtered from the screen based on modes/options set by the operator.