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Thap: Tactical High-Altitude Penetrator
Thought to have been built by Northrup and test-flown from
Groom Lake since 1983, the THAP (Tactical High-Altitude
Penetrator) is probably related to the company's B-2
Proof-Of-Concept vehicles, and also to the TSA (Tactical
Stealth Aircraft) Program.
The concept results from a study for a tactical
high-altitude penetrator design which is a UAV that can
carry a weapons load in an internal bay. Thrust is provided
by two high-technology turbofan engines mounted on top of
the airframe with some RAM components inherent in the
design. Airframe shape is the span-loaded flying wing type
resting on tricycle landing gear. Pitch, yaw and roll are
controlled by two canted vertical fins, called rudderatrons,
coupled to fly-by-wire computer systems. Materials
comprising the airframe include RAM plastics surrounding a
Tests for control probably include remote piloting via
VCASS, with the human pilot situated in a simulator at
Nellis AFB or Groom Lake and linked to the THAP via one or
more of the NAVSATS or by a system similar to Joint STARS.
The terrain outside the vehicle would be relayed via video
cameras and other electronic sensors such as those found on
many modern strike aircraft to the VCASS helmet worn by the
pilot or displayed in at least two dimensions on the
interior surface of the simulator shell. The pilot would
literally fly the THAP from the comfort and security of his
chair on the ground.
Because the satellite link extends over the entire surface
of the planet, it seems likely the pilot could fly the craft
anywhere he wished until the fuel was depleted.
Additionally, because aircraft can always sustain more G's
than can humans, we must assume the THAP could perform
extreme maneuvers (tight turns, sudden stops and
acceleration, etc.) if it was designed to do so. In other
words, the remotely piloted THAP could duplicate the
maneuvers commonly assigned only to "Flying Saucers."
The THAP is exactly the shape reported during a number of
UFO sightings, so we might assume the witnesses are seeing
the vehicles during one or more of its many sorties.
Designed to penetrate enemy airspace from high altitudes,
THAP may have long-range capabilities, perhaps as far as
2,500 to 3,000 miles and subsonic to supersonic speeds.
THAP and other unidentified aircraft, may be unmanned
surveillance vehicles remotely guided by "pilots" sitting in
a flight simulator thousands of miles away linked via
satellites through VCASS or holographic projections on the
interior surface of the simulator shell, giving them a 360§
virtual reality view of the terrain over which THAP is
flying at any given moment. By extending the concept, we
could imagine any type of aircraft, known or unknown, might
be controlled in this manner. Without the need to protect a
pilot from severe G-forces, the aircraft could be built to
perform extreme maneuvers such as those reported during UFO