A scene never to be repeated again: a sky filled with black stealth fighter jets

25 Nighthawks fill the sky over Holloman on Oct. 27, 2006 (Image credit: Denny Lombard via Lockheed Martin).

On Oct. 27, 2006, twenty-five Lockheed F-117A stealth jets flew over Heritage Park at Holloman Air Force Base during the Silver Stealth event for the F-117’s 25th anniversary.

59 production  “Nighthawk” aircraft (one of those was lost to the Serbian Air Defense during “Operation Allied Force“) served with the U.S. Air Force until the type was retired in 2008: about half of them can be seen flying together in the image taken by Denny Lombard and released by LM’s Code One magazine.

For another impressive air-to-air image of the 25 stealth jets taken during the same event, have a look here.

By the way, isn’t that ironic that 25 aircraft filling the sky would still not appear on radar (at least, unless they were using transponder or Luneburg lenses)?

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.


  1. “By the way, isn’t that ironic that 25 aircraft filling the sky would still not appear on radar?”

    Why is that ironic? They’re stealth aircraft, so nobody is expecting them to show up on radar.

  2. Isn’t it ironic that the one that got shot down was splashed by Serbian Vietnam era radar?

    • You’re a fool, the fact that it was an old VHF band radar actually HELPED them to detect the F-117A.

      Over 20 years of real world operations including flying through the heart of Iraqi air defenses in Gulf War 1, and you pat yourself on the back because a single big-bad American F-117A was shot down in an operation where the same flight paths were often reused (bad idea) and when EW or SEAD support wasn’t on station for that mission.

  3. You can see why the name is “Nighthawk”. It’s a very visible plane in sunlight. You can only fly this in the night. And when it is not raining. Rain or any other water destroys the anti-radar coating.

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