Farewell, Nighthawk

The original stealth fighter is being retired.

The F-117 Nighthawk was the world’s first generation stealth aircraft. Its ungainly appearance disguised a remarkable ability to fly almost undetected by radar. The fighter plane saw service in Panama, Iraq, Kosovo, and Yugoslavia. 7566_f117_1a.jpg

The plane was developed during the Carter Administration. I still remember the furor over Carter’s revelation of this top secret project during the 1980 presidential election, apparently in an attempt to strengthen his credentials as a strong-on-defense leader.

I saw one of these at an air show at McConnell Air Base here in Wichita a number of years ago. A really remarkable bird.

The F-117 is being replaced by the latest generation stealth fighters, the F-22 and F-35.

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