GulfstreamGuy From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 626 posts, RR: 6 Posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 4397 times:
Saw this and took me by surprise... From CNN.com
"DAYTON, Ohio (AP) -- The world's first attack aircraft to employ stealth technology is slipping quietly into history.
Technicians service an F-117 stealth fighter after it arrived at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, on Monday.
The inky black, angular, radar-evading F-117, which spent 27 years in the Air Force arsenal secretly patrolling hostile skies from Serbia to Iraq, will be put in mothballs next month in Nevada.
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, which manages the F-117 program, will have an informal, private retirement ceremony Tuesday with military leaders, base employees and representatives from Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico.
The last F-117s scheduled to fly will leave Holloman on April 21, stop in Palmdale, California, for another retirement ceremony, then arrive on April 22 at their final destination: Tonopah Test Range Airfield in Nevada, where the jet made its first flight in 1981.
The government has no plans to bring the fighter out of retirement, but could do so if necessary.
"I'm happy to hear they are putting it in a place where they could bring it back if they ever needed it," said Brig. Gen. Gregory Feest, the first person to fly an F-117 in combat, during the 1989 invasion of Panama that led to the capture of dictator Manuel Noriega.
The Air Force decided to accelerate the retirement of the F-117s to free up money to modernize the rest of the fleet. The F-117 is being replaced by the F-22 Raptor, which also has stealth technology.
Fifty-nine F-117s were made; 10 were retired in December 2006 and 27 since then, the Air Force said. Seven of the planes have crashed, one in Serbia in 1999.
Air Force worn out, generals say
Stealth technology used on the F-117 was developed in the 1970s to help evade enemy radar. While not invisible to radar, the F-117's shape and coating greatly reduced its detection.
The F-117, a single-seat aircraft, was designed to fly into heavily defended areas undetected and drop its payloads with surgical precision.
A total of 558 pilots have flown the F-117 since it went operational. They dub themselves "bandits," with each given a "bandit number" after their first flight.
Feest, who is Bandit 261, also led the first stealth fighter mission into Iraq during Desert Storm in 1991. He said the fire from surface-to-air missiles and anti-aircraft guns was so intense that he stopped looking at it to try to ease his fears.
"We knew stealth worked and it would take a lucky shot to hit us, but we knew a lucky shot could hit us at any time," he said.
Incredibly, not one stealth was hit during those missions, he said."
I kinda knew it was coming, just didn't know so soon!
"If we couldn't laugh, we would all go insane. " -Jimmy Buffett
PDXCessna206 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 2, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 4306 times:
There are more capable and versatile aircraft than it now. Isn't the F-22 or F-35 supposed to fill it's role? Still, sad to see such an interesting aircraft go. Makes me wish they could keep a few in the fleet just to keep it interesting.
DL021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11433 posts, RR: 81 Reply 4, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 4296 times:
It's been dead for a year now. Sorry you missed the news.
It was fundamentally over when the AAA/missile trap set by the Serbs (with the help of some of our "friends") shot one of them down and the pieces were sent to Russia and China for analysis. The plane was too slow to do much good without the advantages it's stealth offered. It was gen 1 stealth, and the airplanes were approaching 30 years in service, so they led good lives and gave excellent service (albeit not over the Fulda Gap invisibly destroying rear echelon mofos in the Soviet OMGs so the tanks couldn't eat).
PhatAlbert From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 111 posts, RR: 4 Reply 5, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 4253 times:
The aircraft just has an impressive appearence... the J-35 or w/e the new versatile aircraft would be... isnt that attractive as much as the F-117. But true i guess they have had healthy lives, have done their damage and are ready to maybe go on display(aircraft Museums or is that not possible because of the technology?) Anyways im sure the new aircraft of todays military are going to do alot more than current aircraft.
A388 From Netherlands Antilles, joined May 2001, 9077 posts, RR: 13 Reply 6, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 4106 times:
This surprised me very much as well. I can only find the first photos of the F-117 dating from the mid '90s. Now I read the F-117 had been in service since the early '80s? What has the F-117 been doing for its first 15 years? I am sure this aircraft started with the Air Force in the mid '90s else I would have remembered a stealth aircraft from the time I was small. An aircraft can't be operating missions and not being seen or photographed for 15 years. So what has the F-117 been doing in the first 15 years? Just development?
And welcome to the new generation stealth fighters
They are going to lock them up in storage at isolated Tonopah AFB in Nevada, that is a very restricted facility where the F-117 was first deployed prior to their unveiling to the public. Even with the wreckage of the F-117 shot down over Serbia there is design secrets that they do not want to get out, thus the whole fleet is being locked up at Tonopah vs going to the Boneyards or being sold to another Nation.
I'm sure one or two will survive somewhere around the Nevada test site to conduct tests on new technology.
That's what I was thinking, maybe the RAAF too. The stealth secrets really shouldn't be an issue. We're sharing the F-35 with all of our allies and it's 3rd generation stealth tech. I could see the Nighthawks being sold to an ally. Hell, if it makes money to buy more Raptors, why not?
I'm still not over the whole deal with Israel selling our tech to China though, so I'd exclude them.
A388 From Netherlands Antilles, joined May 2001, 9077 posts, RR: 13 Reply 15, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 3896 times:
Quoting Vzlet (Reply 8): Lockheed won the contract in 1978 and deliveries started in 1982, but they weren't routinely operated in daylight until 1988. More here.
Wow amazing, I know top secret aircraft exist but would have not imagined an aircraft can be kept a secret for so long as in 15 years or so. So I guess the F-22 Raptors have also been around for more than 15 years even though it is widely reported as being under development for a few years now (4-5 years max)???
MCIGuy From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 1936 posts, RR: 0 Reply 16, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 3886 times:
Quoting Checksixx (Reply 14): 3rd Generation...try 4th or 5th generation. There are many airframes that never made it to production.
Yeah, I guess, but I was looking at from the perspective of actual fielded systems.
I consider the F-117 to be "1st generation stealth", the B-2 to be "second generation" and the F-22 and F-35 to be "3rd generation".
Moo From Falkland Islands, joined May 2007, 3596 posts, RR: 4 Reply 19, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 3769 times:
Quoting A388 (Reply 15): Wow amazing, I know top secret aircraft exist but would have not imagined an aircraft can be kept a secret for so long as in 15 years or so. So I guess the F-22 Raptors have also been around for more than 15 years even though it is widely reported as being under development for a few years now (4-5 years max)???
The F-117 was kept secret because it was a mindset leap - aircraft that could penetrate RADAR defended areas, attack and disappear. It was originally also supposed to be operated by the CIA for 'silver bullet' missions.
Today, everyone expects some level of stealth in all new military aircraft, so the mindset is already ingrained - theres no need to keep it that secret anymore.
PhatAlbert From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 111 posts, RR: 4 Reply 20, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 3549 times:
Quoting Checksixx (Reply 18): They will be in storage...not sure how else to explain it to you. Storage
yea i know "storage" but there using hangars or building to house these things right? But nothing is going to be done with them for years? Thats doesnt make much sense to me... there not going to be around forever... they got to do something.