Tonopah Test Range
Note: If you’ve linked directly into this page you should be aware this is all very old stuff! Like ancient! For a description of what this is and how old it it is, see this intro.
The Tonopah Test Range (TTR) is a 525 square mile area (625 square miles according to new information…it apparently expanded) located at the very north end of the Nellis Complex, about 32 miles southeast of Tonopah, Nevada. The primary (paved) access is off of Hwy 6 at the north end of the facility. Dirt road access points also exist on the south and east sides of the range.
First opened in 1957, it has been a major test facility for DOE funded weapon programs. The sprawling facility is heavily instrumented with camera and radar tracking devices that record data from artillery shell testing, bomb drops, cruise missiles and rocket tests. In 1984, TTR also became host to the first F117 Stealth fighter squadron.
TTR also contains the somewhat mysterious “Site Four”, located near TTR’s eastern boundary. Little has been publicly released regarding the mission of Site Four but there are a few stories.
- History of TTR: This is from Sandia National Labs and appears to be written around 1978. A little dated, but good background info on how TTR came about and how it ended up at its present location.
- NTS News, March 4, 1983: A bit of a puff piece for the test site folks, just before the F-117s showed up and changed the status of TTR forever (What!…we don’t have anything secret out here….).
- Tonopah Test Range info booklet, from Sandia National Labs, circa 1981 (longish at 26k)
- Sandia Lab News, July 26, 1991. A number of articles featuring different aspects of TTR operations. (The cold war is over, we need work!)
- Site Four: Part of the Tonopah Electronic Combat Range. (Got any saucers around here?)
- Map of TTR: Probably pretty old, about 1981, a somewhat sucky Nth generation photocopy that was pulled into a paint program and cleaned up a bit.(23k GIF)
- Airspace change: A recent change in the restricted airspace near the south boundary of TTR allowing civilian overflights.
- Aerial photo of TTR’s airfield : From the Lockheed publication Lockheed Horizons – We Own the Night from May of 1992. Amusingly, the photo they printed is reversed. I put it back the right way.
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