TR-3A Black Manta

TR-3A Black Manta

infobox Aircraft
name = TR-3 Black Manta
type = Stealth spyplane
manufacturer = Northrop

caption = Artist's impression (credit Adrian Mann)
designer =
first flight =
introduced =
retired =
produced =
number built =
status =
unit cost =
primary user = United States Air Force
more users =
developed from =
variants with their own articles =
The TR-3A Black Manta is reputedly a United States Air Force spyplane. It is allegedly a black program, and its existence is officially denied.

The TR-3A is claimed to be a subsonic stealth spyplane with a flying wing design of some sort. It was alleged to have been used in the Gulf War to provide laser designation for F-117A Nighthawk fighters (attack bombers), for targeting to use with laser-guided bombs (smart bombs). The TR-3A is supposedly manufactured by Northrop Grumman.

Because there is no hard evidence of the involvement of any other stealth aircraft in the Gulf War, another hypothesis has arisen. This holds that whatever vehicle has been identified as the "TR-3" is nothing more than a prototype for the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber.


* "TR-3A Evolved From Classified Prototypes, Based on Tactical Penatrator Concept" Aviation Week and Space Technology, June 10, 1991. p 20-21
* “Triangular Recon Aircraft May be Supporting F-117A” AW&ST, June 10, 1991. p 20. William Scott
* "America's New Secret Aircraft" Popular Mechanics, December 1991. p. 32-5. Gregory T. Pope
* "Possible Black Aircraft Seen Flying In Formation with F-117As KC-135s." Aviation Week, March 9, 1992. p. 66-67
* Popular Science, March 1993
* "Stealth Watchers" Wired, "Issue 2.02" Feb 1994. Phil Patton [ (article)] The Black Manta is also called the BABY B-2

External links

* Federation of American Scientists: [ Mystery - TR-3A]
* Electronic Frontier Foundation: [ Stealth Watchers] (Phil Patton) "Wired Ventures" 1993

ee also



similar aircraft=
* SR-71 Blackbird
* TR-1A Dragonlady

RS-70 -
SR-71 -
TR-1 -

lists =
* List of military aircraft of the United States
* List of stealth aircraft
* List of black projects

see also=
* Quartz (spyplane) CIA spyplane project, follow-up to SR-71. Cancelled in 1991.
* ISINGLASS USAF atomospheric suborbital skip-gliding spyplane. Cancelled in 1960s
* TR-3B Astra UFOlogist speculated USAF spyplane
* Black triangle (UFO) UFOlogy lore about TR-3 series aircraft

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