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Hunting Drones with Google Maps

By Taylor Marvin

Google Maps’ satellite imagery is an amazing public record, and it’s astonishing what you can find with a little patience. US military assets are no exception, especially aircraft that spend large amounts of time on flight lines and visible to satellite imaging. Let’s go hunting for drones, shall we?

Here’s a trio of RQ-4 Global Hawks at Edwards AFB, California.

And here’s a MQ-9 Reaper at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, alongside a pair of F-15E Strike Eagles. While the resolution isn’t great, you can distingish the MQ-9 from a similar but smaller MQ-1 Predator by comparing the wingspan to the F-15Es — a  MQ-9’s wingspan is 67 ft and a F-15E is 65ft nose to tail, indicating that this is in fact a Reaper. These F-15Es are likely the aircraft involved in the Pentagon’s largely-secret war in Yemen.

And  as a bonus, a trio of F-15Cs in aggressor colors for training purposes at Nellis AFB, Nevada. There’s a number of F-22’s visible at Nellis AFB as well, along with an entire squadron of Royal Air Force Panavia Tornado strike aircraft.

Also of interest: a number of B-52 strategic bombers at Diego Garcia in the Indian ocean.

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