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CoolPix - Modern Military: 4 F-117 Nighthawks In Formation

(click pic for hi-res)

 The Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk 'Stealth Fighter' was officially retired from the United States Air Force on April 22, 2008.  With initial design work done in the 70's, the F-117 went operational in 1983 as the first ever stealth aircraft, with a nearly invisible radar signature.  It was also very successful in that it was designed, built and put into service in total secrecy.  The airplane was eventually acknowledged to the public in 1988.

 It's interesting to note that while it carries the 'F' designation, it's really an 'attack' aircraft.  Designed with radar scattering flat surfaces, the airplane wound up having a look that makes it one of the most unusual military aircraft ever... especially for one actually put into service.  The F-117 proved extremely successful in Operation Desert Storm, having flown only 2% of the missions yet was responsible for 40% of the strategic target attacks.

 The F-117 is a fascinating part of the Lockheed Skunk Works legacy, and this pic of 4 of them in formation helps to remind us of what an amazing accomplishment the airplane is.  Be sure to click the pic to see it big with lots of detail!


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Reader Comments (2)

Looking back at this incredible technology I have my reservation if this was money well spend. To develop this stealth and all the anti radar devices, they only got to use it a few time in real situations one being Iraq. If they did not have this 4 F-117 Nighthawks, the Us would have still won the war in Iraq or anywhere else. This is just another example of spending so much time and effort on something that has such a short live span in usability.

If you would relate this to a private business, in a smaller scale, then the business would be gone by now. Although I am critical about the program, I think as a society we did benefit a lot from all other technology that sprang from that as a result. So all in all a lot spend to create jobs and benefits for society, but not being a useful tool that determines if a war is decided by it.
I am a general critique and like to debate any topic. For more about me and my comment you can read more on in the blog section.

Cool! This post was on my birthday!!

January 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJohnCFord

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