4
$\begingroup$

I live in the suburbs of London in Greenford (near RAF Northolt Base) and today I heard a droning sounds which, albeit from my limited experience, sounded like a propeller plane. I checked my generic flight radar application on my smart phone, no result. I then checked the ADS-B tracking website which identifies most military aircraft that aren't flying covertly but, again, no result.

I did manage to take a picture of the aircraft and it looks like a small passenger turboprop plane - so any ideas about what aircraft this is and why it wouldn't be showing up on any radars? It does not seem like a stealthy fighter jet by any means.

enter image description here enter image description here

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Was the bottom of the body bright red? (I assume your eyesight is better than mine in combination with the picture.) $\endgroup$ – Keep these mind Aug 26 '17 at 11:15
  • $\begingroup$ Seems to be dark blue $\endgroup$ – Daniel K Aug 26 '17 at 14:02
  • $\begingroup$ The Let L-410 looks similar - possibly military personel transportation? I know the German airforce uses these $\endgroup$ – Daniel K Aug 26 '17 at 14:12
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ My guess is that it is an "old timer". Things to work on: - the wing is elliptical - the vertical tail is rounded - the engines seem to be almost as large as the cockpit - the horizontal tail seems to have some kind of simmetrical feature - it has a low tail, not a T-tail $\endgroup$ – Federico Aug 26 '17 at 19:58
  • $\begingroup$ I uploaded another image. On this one it doesn't seem so elliptical and the vertical stabiliser seems to have some sort of circle icon. I thought for a moment it might be a Britten-Norman? I guess the jury is still out. $\endgroup$ – Daniel K Aug 26 '17 at 20:52
3
$\begingroup$

A long shot, but perhaps it's an Avro Anson, a true "old timer" from WWII and used by the RAF no less.

Image credits all from Wikipedia

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry to bring up an old thread but what about an Embraer EMB 121 Xingu? I saw one flying today in the same area from the French Air Force. $\endgroup$ – Daniel K Sep 19 '18 at 9:00
2
$\begingroup$

I'm going to hazard a guess here, but that's likely the best you will get unless someone tracks down a photo of a plane with a matching paint scheme.

Here's my thought process:

  • tapered, low wings
  • engine nacelles are almost as long as the nose, which narrows things down a bit
  • engine nacelles are relatively large in size, so it's...
    1. probably piston engined
    2. probably fairly small, maybe 6 passengers?
  • vertical tail looks swept
  • horizontal tail is placed low, and is at least as wide as the engine nacelles
  • fuselage tapers from the trailing wing root to the tail

As far as I can tell, it looks an awful lot like a Beechcraft Baron.


Image credit: AOPA

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The wingtips look more tapered and the nose more boxy than the Baron to my eye, but I could well be wrong. $\endgroup$ – Ralph J Aug 27 '17 at 3:43
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, could be. Without a higher quality photo, this is really just an exercise in futility. My other guess was a smaller Cessna twin, but not much lined up. $\endgroup$ – egid Aug 27 '17 at 4:12
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Better match than the King Air, but still: The trailing edge of the rudder looks rounded, not straight like in the Baron. I'm not convinced. $\endgroup$ – Peter Kämpf Aug 27 '17 at 5:13
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @egid: Yes, I thought for a moment it could be a Cessna T-50, but the fuselage nose is much longer. Still, the round wingtips and vertical suggest an older design, from the 40s or 50s. $\endgroup$ – Peter Kämpf Aug 27 '17 at 8:32
  • $\begingroup$ @PeterKämpf I think the round tail is just blurred overexposure; note the apparent 'dent' in the left tailplane. $\endgroup$ – Sanchises Aug 27 '17 at 8:36
1
$\begingroup$

Given its proportions and size, as well as the shape of the wing platform, I might guess a Beech King Air C90.

enter image description here

$\endgroup$
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ to me it does not have the right shape of wings/tail $\endgroup$ – Federico Aug 27 '17 at 8:29
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ And the engine nacelles look too slender. $\endgroup$ – David Richerby Oct 26 '17 at 10:47
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry to bring up an old thread but what about an Embraer EMB 121 Xingu? I saw one flying today in the same area from the French Air Force. $\endgroup$ – Daniel K Sep 19 '18 at 9:01

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.