Hurricane Michael is Coming! Grab Yer Mops!

Hate & Discontent

Yo, homie. Is that my briefcase?
Aug 22, 2005
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#78
Probably under maintenance or practice aircraft. Some looked like museum pieces.
It never crossed my thoughts that they may have been non operational or practice planes or drones.
The F-16s with all of the orange markings are target drones. They take old end-of-service planes from the boneyard or that are slated to go there and turn them into remote piloted target aircraft. They're used for weapons testing and pilot training in conjunction with the Eglin overwater test range. The smaller aircraft may have been spotter/observation aircraft used for monitoring the test range that the decided not to evacuate, or simply didn't have time to.

If you look at the overhead photos of Tyndall, there's a runway on the east side of base that runs almost due north/south. That's the runway used for launching and recovering target drones. They all carry a pretty hefty scuttling charge on board so they can be destroyed remotely if they lose control, and they shut down the highway to the south (Highway 98) whenever one is being launched or recovered. They had one crash just off the end of the runway a few years ago, and had to shut down 98 until the battery on the scuttling charge ran out of power (thereby safing the explosives).