‘Gray Dragon’: the only F-117A Nighthawk painted in a two-tone gray experimental color scheme

(Image credit: "boomer135")

Here are some interesting photographs of the gray F-117 Stealth Jet.

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 author 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.

Image credit: “boomer135” via Tyler Rogoway/Aviationintel.com

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.

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.