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F-117 Stealth Fighter Is Being Retired!  
User currently offlineGulfstreamGuy From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 646 posts, RR: 1
Posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 5984 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.

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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!
GulfstreamGuy


"If we couldn't laugh, we would all go insane. " -Jimmy Buffett
20 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineCorsair1107 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 121 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 5957 times:

Didn't they quietly pull them all last year? Had to be expected.


Flown on: DHC-6/8, F100, B1900C, 717, 727, 737, 757, 767, 777, 319, 320, C152/172, E135/145, DC-9, MD-83/88 CL600
User currently offlinePDXCessna206 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 5893 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.

User currently offlineFlyingClrs727 From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 733 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 5883 times:

Would Israel or Japan be interested in them?

User currently offlineDL021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11446 posts, RR: 76
Reply 4, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 5883 times:
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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).



Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
User currently offlinePhatAlbert From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 113 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 5840 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.


**Isaac**
User currently offlineA388 From Netherlands Antilles, joined May 2001, 9725 posts, RR: 11
Reply 6, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 5693 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  Smile

A388


User currently offlineSprout5199 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 1852 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 5679 times:



Quoting A388 (Reply 6):
An aircraft can't be operating missions and not being seen or photographed for 15 years

Sure they can. The Miltary does a lot of thing you never here about. And do you really think all the "UFO" reports were false? If I saw one flying before I knew what it was, I would say it was a "UFO"

Dan in Jupiter


User currently offlineVzlet From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 833 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 5669 times:

Lockheed won the contract in 1978 and deliveries started in 1982, but they weren't routinely operated in daylight until 1988. More here.


"That's so stupid! If they're so secret, why are they out where everyone can see them?" - my kid
User currently onlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16822 posts, RR: 51
Reply 9, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 5606 times:



Quoting FlyingClrs727 (Reply 3):
Would Israel or Japan be interested in them?

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.



Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlineChecksixx From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1079 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 5597 times:



Quoting Corsair1107 (Reply 1):
Didn't they quietly pull them all last year?

No, they've been doing it in small numbers for a couple of years now.

Quoting FlyingClrs727 (Reply 3):
Would Israel or Japan be interested in them?

Won't be offered, but I doubt they would. Upkeep is tedious...

Quoting DL021 (Reply 4):
It's been dead for a year now. Sorry you missed the news.

They just announced the final dates last week so go a little easier on the guy...you're not entirely up to speed either. Its not a big deal.

Quoting A388 (Reply 6):
So what has the F-117 been doing in the first 15 years? Just development?

Panama comes to mind....

Quoting A388 (Reply 6):
An aircraft can't be operating missions and not being seen or photographed for 15 years.

Oh, sure it could...


User currently offlineMortyman From Norway, joined Aug 2006, 3846 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 5588 times:

I think it was the Gulf War that the plane made it's " official " appearance to the world. Before that, the US had pretty much managed to keep it secret, I think...

User currently onlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16822 posts, RR: 51
Reply 12, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 5554 times:



Quoting Mortyman (Reply 11):
I think it was the Gulf War that the plane made it's " official " appearance to the world. Before that, the US had pretty much managed to keep it secret, I think...

The first public mission the F-117 flew was Panama.



Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlineMCIGuy From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 1936 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 5547 times:



Quoting FlyingClrs727 (Reply 3):
Would Israel or Japan be interested in them?

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.



Airliners.net Moderator Team
User currently offlineChecksixx From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1079 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 5504 times:



Quoting STT757 (Reply 12):
The first public mission the F-117 flew was Panama.

Public years later maybe...

Quoting MCIGuy (Reply 13):
We're sharing the F-35 with all of our allies and it's 3rd generation stealth tech.

3rd Generation...try 4th or 5th generation. There are many airframes that never made it to production.


User currently offlineA388 From Netherlands Antilles, joined May 2001, 9725 posts, RR: 11
Reply 15, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks ago) and read 5483 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)???

A388


User currently offlineMCIGuy From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 1936 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks ago) and read 5473 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.  Smile
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".



Airliners.net Moderator Team
User currently offlinePhatAlbert From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 113 posts, RR: 3
Reply 17, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 5432 times:



Quoting STT757 (Reply 9):
They are going to lock them up in storage at isolated Tonopah AFB in Nevada

Then what lol.... i mean they can sit there but what will they do .. besides test and maybe develop new tech? What could they do... they wouldnt leave.?



**Isaac**
User currently offlineChecksixx From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1079 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 5371 times:



Quoting A388 (Reply 15):
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)???

No, thats been a VERY public program and a simple internet search should give you plenty of information on it.

Quoting PhatAlbert (Reply 17):
Then what lol.... i mean they can sit there but what will they do .. besides test and maybe develop new tech? What could they do... they wouldnt leave.?

They will be in storage...not sure how else to explain it to you. Storage.


User currently offlineMoo From Falkland Islands, joined May 2007, 3874 posts, RR: 5
Reply 19, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 5356 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.


User currently offlinePhatAlbert From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 113 posts, RR: 3
Reply 20, posted (6 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 5136 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.



**Isaac**
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