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Iranian Clown Car Flies... with the Help of Photoshop

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 2:34pm
Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor, ECN

Take that, free world!

For all you naysayers out there who thought Iran’s clown car, er ... stealth fighter ... smelled a bit fishy, the Islamic Republic has the ultimate retort: a badly-Photoshopped image of the Qaher-313 set against stock photo #3.

Oh ye of little faith!

The Iranian website, Khouz News, released the image in question, and I don’t think it’ll take an army of aviation experts to debunk this one — unlike the Qaher-313’s official unveiling. Any idiot who’s turned on a PC in the last decade should sniff out this malarkey.

For those late to this three-ring circus, the Islamic Republic unveiled the Qaher-313 — allegedly, the regime’s first indigenous stealth fighter — on February 2, and the world let out a collective snicker.

With its diminutive size and gangly pilot, the “stealth fighter” looked like a clown car. It appeared to be missing an engine, a proper canopy, and instruments that weren’t plucked from a small commuter plane.

And it looked like a clown car — a small vehicle for transporting jesters that couldn’t possibly house weapons, avionics, or radar. Oh, and it appeared to be made of fiberglass.

Was it a full-scale mockup? Not according to the Iranians, who presented the Qaher-313 as the genuine article and even released a video of its “first flight” (though the “jet” looked conspicuously like an RC plane).

That said, it still looked like Iran put in a modicum of effort to convince a disbelieving world that the Qaher-313 was a real, live airplane (fashioned in the same workshop as Pinocchio).

But this latest Photoshop ... well ... to paraphrase The Simpsons, Iran crossed that line between everyday villainy and cartoonish super-villainy.

And once again, the Internet came to the rescue.

One intrepid Iranian blogger called schenanigans and juxtaposed the original, stock image with the Photoshopped version.

The Atlantic did a Google search and managed to find the stock image from PickyWallpapers.com.

Tsk, tsk, Iran. I expected more from you.

Update (2/15/2013): ECN has received this image of the Qaher-313’s first aerial battle. I'm sold.

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