I just saw a very odd aircraft -- a twin-engine passenger jet with an odd protrusion from the top front, taking off from Phoenix Sky Harbor. Any idea what it might be?
I was walking along a sidewalk near the ASU campus, and the aircraft was climbing eastbound from Sky Harbor, so I didn't get a great or long look at it. The aircraft, for the most part, looked like a passenger jet in the neighborhood of an A320, 757, etc; too big for a 737 -- two engines under the wing, low tail, etc. The plane's paint was white with a blue stripe down the cabin tube. At about the midpoint between the nose and the wing root, something
oddly-shaped was attached to the top of the cabin tube. The protrusion looked, to me, like an engine pod from a Soviet era Eraknoplan
(ground effect vehicle), only not as wide -- there would've been one engine per side, not four. I'm pretty sure it wasn't an engine pod, I just include that shape for visual reference.
I am certain the mystery bird was not an E-3 Sentry AWACS (definitely not 707 platform, definitely not a rotating radome, definitely forward of the wings) or an E-767 (same concerns re: radome shape and position) and I'm fairly certain it wasn't a 737 AEW
(protrusion definitely forward of the wings, and why would that be operating in the US?).
Any ideas what I might've seen? The paint scheme makes me think "NASA research aircraft" but I haven't been able to find anything by googling around.