Senior Prom is a still-classified U.S. Air Force program to develop a stealth unmanned aerial reconnaissance vehicle (and possibly as a cruise missile), designed to be launched from a DC-130, B-52, or B-1.
Origin of Design
The program began in the late 1970s after the success of Lockheed's Have Blue
program. The Senior Prom vehicle's design was based on and resembled a scaled-down F-117
The lack of a cockpit meant the vehicle's profile was a bit flatter than the F-117. The craft initially had a large vertical fin, but later photos indicate that the ventral fin was removed and converted to a V-tail. The wings appear to be able to fold against the body to save space. It is believed this craft was powered by a single turbofan engine.
Beginning in October 1978, six Senior Prom prototypes were launched from DC-130
carrier aircraft. Thirteen successful tests of Senior Prom were conducted over the Groom Lake
air base in Nevada, proving undetectable to the SPS-13
RADAR. The program was ended in 1981
, reportedly due to its size restricting its ability to be carried by a B-1
The Senior Prom UAV is rumored to have been flown over Warsaw Pact
nations during the Cold War
, over Baghdad
during the Gulf War
, and over North Korea