Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk
Single-seat, twin-engine stealth ground-attack aircraft / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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The Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk is a retired American single-seat, twin-engine stealth attack aircraft developed by Lockheed's secretive Skunk Works division and operated by the United States Air Force (USAF). It was the first operational aircraft to be designed with stealth technology.
|F-117 flying over mountains in Nevada in 2002|
|Role||Stealth attack aircraft|
Type of aircraft
|National origin||United States|
|First flight||June 18, 1981; 41 years ago (1981-06-18)|
|Introduction||October 1983; 39 years ago (1983-10)|
|Retired||22 April 2008 (Combat use)|
|Status||Used as training aircraft as of 2023|
|Primary user||United States Air Force|
|Number built||64 (5 YF-117As, 59 F-117As)|
|Developed from||Lockheed Have Blue|
The F-117 was based on the Have Blue technology demonstrator. The Nighthawk's maiden flight took place in 1981 at Groom Lake, Nevada, and the aircraft achieved initial operating capability status in 1983. The aircraft was shrouded in secrecy until it was revealed to the public in 1988. Of the 64 F-117s built, 59 were production versions, with the other five being prototypes.
The F-117 was widely publicized for its role in the Gulf War of 1991. Although it was commonly referred to as the "Stealth Fighter", it was strictly an attack aircraft. F-117s took part in the conflict in Yugoslavia, where one was shot down by a surface-to-air missile (SAM) in 1999. The U.S. Air Force retired the F-117 in April 2008, primarily due to the fielding of the F-22 Raptor. Despite the type's official retirement, a portion of the fleet has been kept in airworthy condition, and Nighthawks have been observed flying since 2009.