RichardPrice
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F-117 Quietly Retired

Fri Nov 03, 2006 9:55 pm

Quote:

Almost as furtively as it flew above war zones from Bosnia to Baghdad, America's F-117A Nighthawk stealth fighter has retired from active duty.

The years had snuck up on it. Though it remained cutting-edge contemporary in many people's minds, the Nighthawk had hit the quarter-century mark. At a discreet "Silver Stealth" ceremony at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico this week, some of the people who built, serviced and flew the plane marked the end of its 25-year career.

http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/Con...l_pageid=968332188854&col=96835006

End of an era!
 
Venus6971
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RE: F-117 Quietly Retired

Fri Nov 03, 2006 10:48 pm

When a F-117 was lost during Allied Force the whole program was compromised with wreckage being sold to the highest bidders in China and Russia . With the advent of the F-22 it made this one mission acft obsolete.
Its only defense was its stealth and if caught by the always effective markII eyeball of a enemy gunner the stealth was negated.
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N215AZ
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RE: F-117 Quietly Retired

Fri Nov 03, 2006 11:45 pm

I am sad to see it go. It really was a great plane. But all good things must come to an end.

N215AZ
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JakeOrion
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RE: F-117 Quietly Retired

Fri Nov 03, 2006 11:46 pm

Quoting RichardPrice (Thread starter):
End of an era!

Not really, the F-22 Raptor, B-1 Lancer and B-2 Spirit are still around, plus the F-35 program incorporates its own stealth technologies as well.

Quoting Venus6971 (Reply 1):
When a F-117 was lost during Allied Force the whole program was compromised with wreckage being sold to the highest bidders in China and Russia . With the advent of the F-22 it made this one mission acft obsolete.

I'm sure the F-117 loss had a small hand it in, but I believe the F-22 virtually ended the program for the F-117. Plus with the new F-35s coming on the line, and then you have the B-2, there isn't really a need for the F-117 anymore. However, I shall miss them.

DAMNIT! First the F-14, now the F-117. Life sucks.
Every problem has a simple solution; finding the simple solution is the difficult problem.
 
RichardPrice
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RE: F-117 Quietly Retired

Fri Nov 03, 2006 11:54 pm

Quoting JakeOrion (Reply 3):
Not really, the F-22 Raptor, B-1 Lancer and B-2 Spirit are still around, plus the F-35 program incorporates its own stealth technologies as well.

My point was that the F-117 was truely unique in its stealth, because all subsequent stealthy aircraft are 'normal' looking. Its the aircraft everyone knows, because its impossible to msitake it for something else.
 
Venus6971
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RE: F-117 Quietly Retired

Sat Nov 04, 2006 12:07 am

The F-117 was a first generation stealth acft, with the pace of inovation and the built in stealth characteristics of future combat acft there was no need to keep it. The B-2's long range made it the first choice of war planners plus you don't need to forward base a B-2 not counting Diego Garcia or Gaum plus alot less tanker support. The way stealth is is hyper advancement the radar of an E-3 will probably be just used to find bad guys with the mode 4 iff the only way to track friendly forces F-22,F-35, B-2. The Navy is going to hate USAF gamers when their carriers are always going to be easy targets for the stealths.
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kbfispotter
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RE: F-117 Quietly Retired

Sat Nov 04, 2006 2:05 am

That is the only reference I can find to a fleet wide retirement occuring. I thought the Pentegon announced the fleet is to be retired in 2008? One source in the article, a Mr Paul Cabot of the Toronto Aerospace Museum, is not worth listening to. Why? read this: http://www.rbogash.com/rebuffed.html. It is my guess that a squadron stood down.

Kris
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2H4
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RE: F-117 Quietly Retired

Sat Nov 04, 2006 2:23 am




Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 4):
because its impossible to mistake it for something else.

You underestimate the incompetence of the US media, my friend...  Wink



2H4


Intentionally Left Blank
 
JakeOrion
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RE: F-117 Quietly Retired

Sat Nov 04, 2006 3:07 am

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 4):
My point was that the F-117 was truely unique in its stealth, because all subsequent stealthy aircraft are 'normal' looking. Its the aircraft everyone knows, because its impossible to msitake it for something else.

To be honest, I believe more people recognize the B-2 more over than the F-117. Witnessing a flying wing is definately a memorable sight.
Every problem has a simple solution; finding the simple solution is the difficult problem.
 
beefstew25
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RE: F-117 Quietly Retired

Sat Nov 04, 2006 3:24 am

Here is the video of the 25 F-117's in formation....pretty good stuff.

http://www.kfoxtv.com/news/10189382/detail.html
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beech19
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RE: F-117 Quietly Retired

Sat Nov 04, 2006 7:04 am

Quoting KBFIspotter (Reply 6):
That is the only reference I can find to a fleet wide retirement occuring. I thought the Pentegon announced the fleet is to be retired in 2008? One source in the article, a Mr Paul Cabot of the Toronto Aerospace Museum, is not worth listening to. Why? read this: http://www.rbogash.com/rebuffed.html. It is my guess that a squadron stood down.

Yes the F-117's aren't supposed to be retired for another 18-24 months. Being replaced in late 2008-early 2009 for F-22's.

The Air Force would have made an official announcment.
Even the Airforce Link mentions no date and i'll trust them over some other countries news paper.

http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123030185
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checksixx
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RE: F-117 Quietly Retired

Sat Nov 04, 2006 7:23 am

Yeah, thats REALLY bad information whoever published that. The Air Force just celebrated the 25th Anniv. of the Nighthawk. The F-117 HAS NOT been retired.

-Check
 
bushpilot
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RE: F-117 Quietly Retired

Sat Nov 04, 2006 7:23 am

Well this certainly snuck up on me. I would say the aircraft was very impressive at what it was designed to do. Can anyone in the know tell me how much these have been deployed during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? Also when can we realistically expect the F-22 to be deployed, and when will the F-35 enter service? Thanks.
 
DeltaGuy
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RE: F-117 Quietly Retired

Sat Nov 04, 2006 7:41 am

Hard to believe this aircraft is really 25 years old....shame they won't be around for too much longer, that's a big mistake on the AF's part.

DeltaGuy
"The cockpit, what is it?" "It's the little room in the front of the plane where the pilot sits, but that's not importan
 
okelleynyc
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RE: F-117 Quietly Retired

Sat Nov 04, 2006 10:45 am

IF this is true, it makes me wonder if there isn't a "black" replacement we don't know about...
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MCIGuy
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RE: F-117 Quietly Retired

Sun Nov 05, 2006 8:04 am

Quoting Okelleynyc (Reply 14):
IF this is true, it makes me wonder if there isn't a "black" replacement we don't know about...

Not a black replacement, an obvious one. Holloman AFB was recently announced to be an F-22 base in the near future. Nighthawks are being directly replaced by Raptors.
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Devilfish
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RE: F-117 Quietly Retired

Sun Nov 05, 2006 2:36 pm

I could have sworn I had seen the item in Flightglobal's "News Headlines" list too, but it's nowhere to be found now. Must have been pulled. I nearly started a thread on it.
"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
 
Devilfish
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RE: F-117 Quietly Retired

Mon Nov 06, 2006 11:05 am

Air Forces Monthly's Nov 2006 issue also has the article on the retirement of the Grey Dragon II F-117 by Mark Ayton.
"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
 
MCIGuy
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RE: F-117 Quietly Retired

Mon Nov 06, 2006 5:22 pm

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RAPCON
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RE: F-117 Quietly Retired

Mon Nov 06, 2006 10:06 pm

Boy, the 117 served for 25 years!!!! It's time to put them out in Davis Monthan.
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NightHawk117
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RE: F-117 Quietly Retired

Tue Nov 07, 2006 5:16 am

Quoting RAPCON (Reply 19):
Boy, the 117 served for 25 years!!!! It's time to put them out in Davis Monthan.

25 years is nothing! There are many airframes in U.S. military service that are far older than the F-117A. The B-52, for example, has been in service for over 40 years and the Air Force is still upgrading it.

Why the Nighthawk is being retired so soon is beyond me. It is still a perfectly capable airframe and, yes, the F-22A can do what F-117 can and be able to fight air threats. Still, there aren't enough Raptors that are operational. It would be wise to wait until we have about 75% of the F-22A fleet operational and combat capable before the F-117A is retired.

Here is an article from the Fall edition of the Air and Space Power Journal:

http://www.airpower.maxwell.af.mil/a...nicles/apj/apj06/fal06/ireton.html

I think Maj Ireton's argument to keep the F-117A is the best I have seen. I just wish the AF (and Congress) would listen.
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SP90
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RE: F-117 Quietly Retired

Tue Nov 07, 2006 5:20 am

Hopefully one will find its way to the Intrepid after she is back from her overhaul.
 
RAPCON
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RE: F-117 Quietly Retired

Tue Nov 07, 2006 7:19 am

Quoting NightHawk117 (Reply 20):
25 years is nothing! There are many airframes in U.S. military service that are far older than the F-117A. The B-52, for example, has been in service for over 40 years and the Air Force is still upgrading it.

You said it. The B-52 is still in service because of upgrades. The 117 got zilch, and thus is a 25 year old airframe with systems that are becoming outdated and in need of upgrades. No need to blow $$ on an a/c whose mission is being taken over by newer, more capable, a/c.

Bye bye 117. Hello 22 & 35!
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checksixx
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RE: F-117 Quietly Retired

Wed Nov 08, 2006 1:04 am

Quoting NightHawk117 (Reply 20):
Still, there aren't enough Raptors that are operational. It would be wise to wait until we have about 75% of the F-22A fleet operational and combat capable before the F-117A is retired.

Well there is already more operational and combat capable Raptors in service than the F-117 fleet so I don't know why they should wait any longer.

-Check
 
YWG
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RE: F-117 Quietly Retired

Fri Nov 10, 2006 6:33 am

Quoting JakeOrion (Reply 3):
B-1 Lancer

I thought the Lancer was not stealth?

Quoting Checksixx (Reply 11):
The F-117 HAS NOT been retired.



Quoting NightHawk117 (Reply 20):
25 years is nothing! There are many airframes in U.S. military service that are far older than the F-117A. The B-52, for example, has been in service for over 40 years and the Air Force is still upgrading it.

I was just going to say.....
Contact Winnipeg center now on 134.4, good day.
 
MCIGuy
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RE: F-117 Quietly Retired

Fri Nov 10, 2006 6:30 pm

Quoting YWG (Reply 24):
I thought the Lancer was not stealth?

It's Stealth-Y. It has a much smaller RCS than the B-1A and a lot bigger one than the B-2.  Wink
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SP90
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RE: F-117 Quietly Retired

Tue Nov 14, 2006 10:55 pm

Quoting MCIGuy (Reply 25):
It's Stealth-Y. It has a much smaller RCS than the B-1A and a lot bigger one than the B-2. Wink

Its all relative.  Smile

I think even the SR-71 has some stealth characteristics. Maybe they just fly so high thats why their RCS is lower because less radar waves hit it and gets returned.
 
RichardPrice
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RE: F-117 Quietly Retired

Wed Nov 15, 2006 12:42 am

Quoting SP90 (Reply 26):
I think even the SR-71 has some stealth characteristics. Maybe they just fly so high thats why their RCS is lower because less radar waves hit it and gets returned.

Unfortunately they neglected to take into account the engine exhaust when calculating the SR-71 RCS during development - it ended up with a humungous RCS because the reheat exhaust reflected significant amounts of radar waves.
 
Venus6971
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RE: F-117 Quietly Retired

Wed Nov 15, 2006 2:10 am

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 27):
Unfortunately they neglected to take into account the engine exhaust when calculating the SR-71 RCS during development - it ended up with a humungous RCS because the reheat exhaust reflected significant amounts of radar waves.

Plus having it fly over your airspace with the accompanying sonic booms so its stealth is more or less negated. The SR-71's advantage was 70,000 ft plus cruising altitude plus having ludricas mach numbers which no SR pilot found out fast it really could go, it was always being shot at but was never touched. It's downfall it was a one mission acft that was God awful expensive to fly . I heard numbers of a million plus for a week of operations. It had its own KC-135Q tanker wing dedicated to it.
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JakeOrion
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RE: F-117 Quietly Retired

Wed Nov 15, 2006 3:36 am

Quoting Venus6971 (Reply 28):
It's downfall it was a one mission acft that was God awful expensive to fly . I heard numbers of a million plus for a week of operations.

Various sources say between $27,000 and $38,000 per hour, and that was in 1960s USD.

Taken from http://www.measuringworth.com/calculators/compare/result.php

Quote:

In 2005, $38,000.00 from 1966 is worth:

$228,632.16 using the Consumer Price Index
$184,819.67 using the GDP deflator
$249,003.75 using the unskilled wage
$396,969.34 using the nominal GDP per capita
$600,812.90 using the relative share of GDP
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cloudy
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RE: F-117 Quietly Retired

Mon Dec 04, 2006 6:05 am

Quoting NightHawk117 (Reply 20):
I think Maj Ireton's argument to keep the F-117A is the best I have seen. I just wish the AF (and Congress) would listen.

Nearly every aircraft retirement has been fought by somebody with some clout, and the opposition is the loudest when there is no direct replacement. It is for the same reason programs within governments and (to a lesser degree) major corporations are so dang hard to kill. It is because people are generally afraid of change, and have interests to protect. The fact that the SR-71 went out without a whimper from anyone was very unusual, this is often seen as evidence that some classified replacement("Aurora") exists.

There are systems nowdays that can make a go at tracking stealth aircraft, usually by having multiple radar transmitters and recievers at seperate locations. These radars then combine and analyse their data using sophisticated computer programs. This does NOT make stealth obsolete since these systems are pricy, rare, and not foolproof. It does mean that the days that stealth ALONE can insure penetration of a sophisticated air defense system are almost over. The F-22, B2 and stand-off weapons provide the additional capabilities needed.

As for guns guided by eyeball - there isn't really much we can do about that. There will always be some losses from massed gunfire. But a well-planned air attack minimizes exposure to such opposition, and keeps losses at an acceptible level. The level of losses from ground gunfire is almost always going to be low enough to be only a political concern. The political risk is there since there will always be some people in the media who expect that no war should have ANY air losses. The only time groundfire causes heavy losses to an competent modern airforce is when that air force is engaged in close support of ground forces for long periods of time.
 
ex52tech
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RE: F-117 Quietly Retired

Wed Dec 06, 2006 4:35 pm

It's one thing to retire an airplane when you have a replacement, as in the F-22.
When they retired the SR-71, that was a real shame. Yeah it was expensive......but what an airplane.
"Saddest thing I ever witnessed....an airplane being scrapped"
 
KevinSmith
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RE: F-117 Quietly Retired

Tue Feb 27, 2007 11:22 am

Quoting Venus6971 (Reply 1):
When a F-117 was lost during Allied Force the whole program was compromised with wreckage being sold to the highest bidders in China and Russia .

I thought a cruise missle was sent in to take care of most of the wreckage? I'm not an expert but I would think that they missle would make anything of value dissapear.
Learning to fly, but I ain't got wings.
 
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ptrjong
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RE: F-117 Quietly Retired

Tue Feb 27, 2007 12:31 pm

Quoting KevinSmith (Reply 32):
I thought a cruise missle was sent in to take care of most of the wreckage? I'm not an expert but I would think that they missle would make anything of value dissapear.

It would have to hit.
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KevinSmith
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RE: F-117 Quietly Retired

Tue Feb 27, 2007 12:34 pm

Quoting Ptrjong (Reply 33):

It would have to hit.

That is what I'm saying. It hit the wreckage site.
Learning to fly, but I ain't got wings.
 
DeltaGuy
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RE: F-117 Quietly Retired

Tue Feb 27, 2007 1:55 pm

2006 called, they want their thread back  Wink

DeltaGuy
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RichardPrice
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RE: F-117 Quietly Retired

Tue Feb 27, 2007 5:33 pm

Quoting KevinSmith (Reply 32):
I thought a cruise missle was sent in to take care of most of the wreckage? I'm not an expert but I would think that they missle would make anything of value dissapear.



Quoting KevinSmith (Reply 34):
That is what I'm saying. It hit the wreckage site.

The wreckage was not bombed. Intact parts can still be seen in a museum in Serbia, including the cockpit.

Quoting DeltaGuy (Reply 35):
2006 called, they want their thread back Wink

I agree  Wink
 
KevinSmith
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RE: F-117 Quietly Retired

Wed Feb 28, 2007 8:47 am

Quoting DeltaGuy (Reply 35):
2006 called, they want their thread back

Ha ha you know that's funny. Maybe if I was a member back in 2006 I could have talked about it back then.
Learning to fly, but I ain't got wings.
 
fbgdavidson
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RE: F-117 Quietly Retired

Wed Feb 28, 2007 11:05 am

I had no idea it was being retired. Then again I'm not completely tuned in to MilAv

Found a good video of the 25 F-117 flyover:
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
 
RichardPrice
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RE: F-117 Quietly Retired

Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:32 pm

Quoting KevinSmith (Reply 37):
Ha ha you know that's funny. Maybe if I was a member back in 2006 I could have talked about it back then.

From your post header -

Quoting KevinSmith (Reply 37):
KevinSmith From United States, joined Jan 2006, 186 posts, RR: 1

Hmmmmm  Wink
 
KevinSmith
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RE: F-117 Quietly Retired

Thu Mar 01, 2007 6:32 am

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 39):
RichardPrice

I've only been first class since Feburary 07 and henceforth only able to take part in the forums since then.

Moving on.

Thanks for the info. I didn't know that there were still pieces intact in Serbia.
Learning to fly, but I ain't got wings.
 
RichardPrice
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RE: F-117 Quietly Retired

Thu Mar 01, 2007 7:01 am

Quoting KevinSmith (Reply 40):
I've only been first class since Feburary 07 and henceforth only able to take part in the forums since then.

You dont need to be first class to post in the forums, if you have a username you can post.
 
sovietjet
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RE: F-117 Quietly Retired

Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:22 am

Wait so it is retired already or is planned on being retired? If it has been retired, when was the last flight?
 
KevinSmith
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RE: F-117 Quietly Retired

Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:37 am

Quoting Sovietjet (Reply 42):
Wait so it is retired already or is planned on being retired? If it has been retired, when was the last flight?

It has not been retired yet. It is slated to be retired.


Huh, well what do you know RichardPrice, somebody else had a question on the subject. Gonna rib them too?
Learning to fly, but I ain't got wings.
 
LongbowPilot
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RE: F-117 Quietly Retired

Thu Mar 01, 2007 4:52 pm

Damned Air Force... Bunch of money wasting politicians. I think they waste more money then all the other services combined.
 
MCIGuy
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RE: F-117 Quietly Retired

Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:15 pm

Quoting LongbowPilot (Reply 44):

Well, the Nighthawks won't stand down until Holloman gets their Raptors.
It is being replaced by something much better, so I don't see the issue here. Besides, the Nighthawks are getting on in years. There are older planes in the inventory, but they don't cost as much to maintain as the Nighthawks.
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LongbowPilot
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RE: F-117 Quietly Retired

Fri Mar 02, 2007 3:47 pm

If the excuse the 117 was shot down is to justify a new fighter, then lets see what happens if one of those is brought down, and I am not wishing bad on anyone.

Additionally, just because the F22 is multi-role doesn't mean it is any better. To my knowledge, it isn't vast either, it only replaced an aircraft that was a strict bomber, but the F15s, A10s, and F16s are still around, and look! the F35 is right around the corner. So other then replacing a 20 year old bomber, what is it the real need for this "Multi-Role" fighter... A Commercial Venture called the U.S. Air Force buying the most expensive toys to play war with an enemy that has yet to show a radar threat.
 
MCIGuy
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RE: F-117 Quietly Retired

Fri Mar 02, 2007 8:00 pm

Quoting LongbowPilot (Reply 46):

Well, I don't know any 'Hawk crews first-hand, but it's my understanding that it's a hangar queen, very expensive to maintain, more so than the Raptor.
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TripleDelta
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RE: F-117 Quietly Retired

Fri Mar 02, 2007 10:29 pm

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 36):
The wreckage was not bombed. Intact parts can still be seen in a museum in Serbia, including the cockpit.

Here's a shot of it in the db:

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Dr Bastasic Dusan


It's a bit blurry, since the protective glass case isn't exactly the best for photography (tried to take the same shot myself, with almost exactly the same results>
No plane, no gain.
 
Venus6971
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RE: F-117 Quietly Retired

Sat Mar 03, 2007 12:16 am

The reason F-117 that got shot down during Allied Force was not destroyed by a follow on strike it was surrounded by curious civilians and Cnn camera crews and since the U.S. trys to fight politically correct tactics it would have been a PR disaster throwing a couple 500 pounders on it. We would also like to thank a certain French officer on the command staff at NATO who was passing info onto the Serbs about the missions routes and times of NATO acft. Probably the next time the Baltics blow up again we will probably be fighting on the Serbian side since the Muslims we protected are now helping terrorists.
I would help you but it is not in the contract

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