FlightAware Discussions

Saw something BIG coming out of Hanscom Field (KBED)

Big quad jet freighter (no windows) - nothing usually seen (not a 747 of any variety nor an A380, C17 or C5 (don’t know the military freighters well, but both are T-tailed and this had the horizontal tail coming out of the fuselage, not the top of the tail)). Sunday morning the 10th of May around 0830 local time - think it was taking off, but possibly landing (saw it while birding at Great Meadows nearby).

Pure white with a light blue stripe. Looked kind of like an A124 Ruslan from pictures online, but would one of those have been dropping off or picking up at Hanscom? VERY loud… When I look at the activity logs I can find, there’s nothing unusual - just the commonplace pistons and light twinjets.

Hanscom’s runways will take anything - it’s an old Air Force base turned general aviation airport, and C-5 Galaxies, BUFFs and 747s (Air Force One back when Bush Sr. was President) have all landed there, mostly when it was in military use.

There aren’t all that many heavy quad jet types in the world. Anyone else see this, or know what might have been out (or possibly in) at Hanscom at that time?

I looked over on Flightradar24 history and found this. Is this what you saw?

Much less blue than that - just a thin blue stripe rather than the wide blue with significant markings in the blue… I didn’t notice under-nose windows, and I think I would have if they were there…

This color scheme is close, but I don’t think it was an IL-76 due to the windows (I can’t say for sure I would have noticed them, but I think I would have).

It was Boeing 707-321B, N404PA. It is based at KBED.

That was it - is it some sort of research aircraft? What little I can find on it online says that it is an MIT Lincoln Lab/Air Force research plane…

I’d never considered a 707, because I didn’t think there were any left…

The USAF has more than 500 KC135 (B707) aircraft today.

N404PA, it is a communications platform testbed,cooperative from MIT labs and USAF