"Gray Dragon": the only F-117A Nighthawk stealth fighter painted in a two-tone gray experimental color scheme August 31, 2012Posted by David Cenciotti in : Military Aviation , trackback
Taken towards the end of 2003/early 2004 by a KC-135 boom operator using the nickname “boomer135″ and brought to my attention by Aviationintel‘s Tyler Rogoway the following pictures show the quite rare “Gray Dragon”, the gray F-117A Nighthawk stealth fighter.
This plane was the only to be painted in an experimental two-tone grey color scheme.
Noteworthy, when the authro posted them for the first time on the ATS forum, he stated that the depicted aircraft was being flown by a (civilian) Lockheed Martin test pilot.
The “Gray Dragon” was among the first six Nighthawks that the U.S. Air Force flew for the last time from Holloman Air Force Base to Tonopah Test Range, Navada, on Mar. 12, 2007.
Image credit: “boomer135″ via Tyler Rogoway/Aviationintel.com
As many of you already know, since the last F-117 was retired in 2008, the famous stealth fighter has been “spotted” several times. Along with several sightings, there’s even a seemingly genuine video of a single triangular “black jet” flying inside the Nellis Range Complex years after retirement.
You can find an interesting analysis of the possible reasons behind the decision to keep a small fleet of F-117 active here.
- U.S. F-16s tasked to destroy enemy radars, missile batteries to get the same radar-absorbing paint job of the F-35 (theaviationist.com)
- Alaska’s F-22 stealth fighter jets became the first operational Raptors to drop GBU-39 small diameter bombs (theaviationist.com)