Message posted by greatguess on April 13, 2012 at 6:22:58 PST:
the airframe for the ABL was a used airliner from air india. it was purchased for a virtual "garage sale" price by the ABL program instead of buying a new aircraft. it was extensively modified to accept the laser system so it wouldn't be on anybody's "buy list" now because of the mods. when the aircraft arrived at Edwards it was still painted in the airlines livery. the program directore (a lady col at the time) came to see it and didn't like what she saw. she gave the ctf a very short time (30 days i believe) to paint it so she couldn't see the "air india" paint scheme. i believe they painted it by hand in the large hangar at south base; they painted it like a cheap used car. they even painted over the windows with the grey paint it ended up with. despite the fact that the ABL program was cutting edge they did try to avoid overspending on stuff that didn't directly go into the cutting edge laser weapon they eventually demonstrated. the airframe they bought for the ground test facility had an even more unusual history than the flying aircraft.
In Reply to: Re: North Korean rocket launch posted by 9thLife on April 12, 2012 at 20:45:07 PST: