- uploaded: Oct 13, 2010
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"Senior Prom is a still-classified United States Air Force program to develop a stealth unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for reconnaissance purposes (and possibly as a cruise missile), designed to be launched from a Lockheed DC-130, B-52 Stratofortress, or B-1 Lancer.
Origin and development
The program began in the late 1970s after the success of the Lockheed Have Blue program. The Senior Prom vehicle's design was based on and resembled a scaled-down F-117 Nighthawk.
The lack of a cockpit meant the vehicle's profile was a bit flatter than the F-117. The craft initially had a large vertical fin, but later photos indicate that the ventral fin was removed and converted to a V-tail. The wings appear to be able to fold against the body to save space. It is believed this craft was powered by a single turbofan engine.
Testing Beginning in October 1978, six Senior Prom prototypes were launched from DC-130 carrier aircraft. Thirteen successful tests of Senior Prom were conducted over the Groom Lake air base in Nevada, proving undetectable to the SPS-13 RADAR. The program was ended in 1981, reportedly due to its size restricting its ability to be carried by a B-1 bomber.
The Senior Prom UAV is rumored to have been flown over Warsaw Pact nations during the Cold War, over Baghdad during the Gulf War, and over North Korea."
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