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cpd
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F117A, the plane that refuses to die

Thu Aug 02, 2018 2:27 am

The F117A Nighthawk is amazing - despite being retired and constant talk of it being killed off permanently, it simply refuses to die and continues on flying:

https://www.popularmechanics.com/milita ... ng-nevada/

And captured on audio:
http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/22 ... ver-nevada
 
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Dutchy
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Re: F117A, the plane that refuses to die

Thu Aug 02, 2018 6:19 am

Interesting, still using it for some kind of test?
Many happy landings, greetings from The Netherlands!
 
ThePointblank
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Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:39 pm

Re: F117A, the plane that refuses to die

Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:36 am

Dutchy wrote:
Interesting, still using it for some kind of test?

The USAF was required for a number of years, to keep the F-117A fleet in an operational state ("flyable storage") after retirement per Congress. It was only until fairly recently did Congress permit the USAF to start permanently retiring the aircraft.
 
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seahawk
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Re: F117A, the plane that refuses to die

Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:47 am

The F-117 makes a very perfect target for testing radars. Due to the geometrical form it is quite perfect to compare the results of your software simulation to real test data when it comes to detection ranges of new radars against the F-117 at different angles.
 
cpd
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Re: F117A, the plane that refuses to die

Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:52 am

Dutchy wrote:
Interesting, still using it for some kind of test?


I believe it is used for testing not only radars, but also materials/coating tests.

It is supposed to be completely gone as per congress, but I suspect a few people don't want to let it go because it seems exceedingly useful.

And everything is well known about the F-117A, so it is ideal as a test aircraft. It also seems to fly a lot with the horrific looking but very special NT-43A. I'd actually argue the NT-43A is the most interesting one to see, usually because something else unique or new is flying along with it.
 
FW200
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Re: F117A, the plane that refuses to die

Thu Aug 02, 2018 12:56 pm

Has it yet been released, how the Serbs managed to detect and shoot down the F-117A on March 27, 1999?

Wikipedia writes, they managed to spot the aircraft when the bomb bay doors were opened.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_ ... ombat_loss

I recall having read somewhere that the Serbs coordinated several SAM - fire control radars, establishing somewhat of a cluster of those radars. Don't know, if that's true.
Are there any informations available how they have done it?
 
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seahawk
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Re: F117A, the plane that refuses to die

Thu Aug 02, 2018 1:22 pm

mostly the optical sensor of the SA3.
 
LightningZ71
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Re: F117A, the plane that refuses to die

Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:07 pm

The serbs used a combination of intelligence (watching the US planes come and go from their base), planning to US operational planning deficiencies (the US pilots flew in and out through VERY predictable routes), and luck that that particular mission had the plane in a less than fully stealthy configuration at the right time. Stealth planes are NOT invisible to radar. They have a reduced radar signature that, with proper mission planning, makes it very hard to spot them at range, and very hard to lock onto them with fire control radars. However, if you're right under it, you can light it up enough to get a shot off, as the serbs did.
 
itchief
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Re: F117A, the plane that refuses to die

Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:24 pm

cpd wrote:
Dutchy wrote:
Interesting, still using it for some kind of test?


I believe it is used for testing not only radars, but also materials/coating tests.

It is supposed to be completely gone as per congress, but I suspect a few people don't want to let it go because it seems exceedingly useful.

And everything is well known about the F-117A, so it is ideal as a test aircraft. It also seems to fly a lot with the horrific looking but very special NT-43A. I'd actually argue the NT-43A is the most interesting one to see, usually because something else unique or new is flying along with it.


I have read this very thing. I also read it is one of the most studied aircraft in history when it comes to it's shape. NASA still flies a B-57 for testing that is 59 years old. This is not a big deal, it is a useful platform for testing and will have a few flying for many years.
 
cpd
Topic Author
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Re: F117A, the plane that refuses to die

Fri Aug 03, 2018 2:51 am

itchief wrote:
cpd wrote:
Dutchy wrote:
Interesting, still using it for some kind of test?


I believe it is used for testing not only radars, but also materials/coating tests.

It is supposed to be completely gone as per congress, but I suspect a few people don't want to let it go because it seems exceedingly useful.

And everything is well known about the F-117A, so it is ideal as a test aircraft. It also seems to fly a lot with the horrific looking but very special NT-43A. I'd actually argue the NT-43A is the most interesting one to see, usually because something else unique or new is flying along with it.


I have read this very thing. I also read it is one of the most studied aircraft in history when it comes to it's shape. NASA still flies a B-57 for testing that is 59 years old. This is not a big deal, it is a useful platform for testing and will have a few flying for many years.


As mentioned before, the fact it is such a relatively simple shape with those very limited number of facets (the limit of what computers could calculate back in the day, IIRC) - that surely makes it more simple to deal with for materials testing.

I'm wondering what that team in those days would have come up with, armed with the desktop computer I have here right now.

The whole story of that plane is fascinating.
 
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glideslope
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Re: F117A, the plane that refuses to die

Sat Aug 04, 2018 4:34 pm

Unfortunately it had more to do with aircraft flying the same route/altitude/time several nights in a row. I would not call it a "Golden BB." However, the S-127 was good enough to catch the brief opening of the doors. Had they not known where the aircraft would be when the doors opened it most likely would not have been a lock, IMO.
To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.” Sun Tzu
 
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smithbs
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Re: F117A, the plane that refuses to die

Sun Aug 05, 2018 1:41 am

LightningZ71 wrote:
The serbs used a combination of intelligence (watching the US planes come and go from their base), planning to US operational planning deficiencies (the US pilots flew in and out through VERY predictable routes), and luck that that particular mission had the plane in a less than fully stealthy configuration at the right time. Stealth planes are NOT invisible to radar. They have a reduced radar signature that, with proper mission planning, makes it very hard to spot them at range, and very hard to lock onto them with fire control radars. However, if you're right under it, you can light it up enough to get a shot off, as the serbs did.


I believe the Serbs also modified their SA-3 for lower frequency operation to improve their limited detection (credit to Col Zoltan Dani, apparently?). In any case, the lesson is to not be repeatable and predictable in front of an enemy who is shrewd, smart and patient.
 
checksixx
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Re: F117A, the plane that refuses to die

Mon Aug 06, 2018 12:40 am

The plan, from the start, was to store them in flyable condition AND to fly them when needed for testing. This has been going on for many years now. They fly far enough away from any observation spots to avoid being closely observed.

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