Helendale Radar Range

Rather than being redundant, you can read about this facility at http://www.thehowlandcompany.com/RCS-ranges.htm I never saw a RCS facility in the flesh, and figured that the Helendale facilty is the easiest to reach. While driving route 58 W towards Vegas, take a right on Helendale road, which is a well maintained dirt road. The facility will be on your left. The entire perimeter is fenced and well marked, and you probably won't meet at security forces. Let's just say this is really low key.


Satellite Images of the Helendale RCS facility
Google Earth KMZ file
Airplane spotted on the ground
Airplanes spotted on Google Earth
Panorama
Dish

Satellite Images of the Helendale RCS facility

This photo of the facility is from the terraserver, with north at the left. Click on the photo to get a higher resolution image in djvu format.

These two  photos are from google_earth. The first one is to show no significant changes have occurred on the base. The second shows the base itself. 

Click here to get the google earth KMZ file for this area.


Airplane spotted on the ground

The goal of visiting such a facility is to see some top secret plane shape being tested. There was nothing being tested at the time, so anyone with common sense would have just left the area. However, I drove the around the perimeter of the facility to get on the south side to get a closer look at the buildings. There I discovered a plane (or mock up) in back just hanging out in the weeds.

Clearly, it's a, er, well, nobody really knows. It certainly doesn't have much of a tail (or none at all), making it a stealth project. Now this could be a prototype of a new plane, or perhaps a cancelled project since the plane was left in full view of anyone who just happened to drive down Helendale road, driving to the south side, and standing on a small box to peer over the fence. [Lots of people fit that description.]


Panorama

This is a panoramic of the buildings and the serious antenna array. Clicking on the image will yield a high resolution image in djvu format. Now you know where to find the mystery plane, i.e. under the transformer.


Airplanes spotted on Google earth



Dish

This is the dish located on the ground. Nothing exciting here, but this image makes a good demonstration of thermal distortion. Note how the dish gets sharper as the elevation rises. This is because there is less unstable heated air as you rise above the ground.