Operation Nighthawk Landing: preparing a Stealth Jet for public display at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California.
As we have explained in post published yesterday, F-117s continue to zip through the Nevada skies despite being officially retired in 2008.
Some isolated accounts suggested the aircraft may have participated in advanced testing in the classified test ranges north of Las Vegas in the American west. Some stories claim the aircraft was actually re-introduced to combat in Syria and Iraq in 2017, although these claims have never been substantiated.
Whatever, some F-117s have been retired once for all. In November 2014, we spotted an F-117 fuselage being transported on a truck trailer. Stills from a video shot by Randy Williams and made available to The Aviationist by Brett Wyman, who first posted them in a Facebook group focused on Nellis AFB, were published by TheAviationist. More recently, on Aug. 16, 2019 at 4:09 PM aviation expert and photographer Chris McGreevy spotted another fuselage being hauled by a truck along Columbia Way (Ave. M) near the joint military/civilian use Palmdale Regional Airport outside Palmdale, California. While we don’t know where the first F-117 ended, we know everything of the latter one, spotted in August this year.
The aircraft in question was #803 (82-0803), an F-117 that entered active service in 1984, flew 78 combat missions (the most of any Nighthawk) starting from Panama’s “Just Cause” operation and was retired in 2007 after logging 4,673 Flight Hours.
The aircraft is currently being prepared for display at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California and Lockheed Martin has just shared an interesting clip showing the preparation of the stealth jet for the exhibition.
The F-117 Nighthawk will be going on public display at the Reagan Library beginning Dec. 7, 2019, at an official ribbon-cutting ceremony during the Reagan Foundation and Institute’s annual Reagan National Defense Forum. The jet will be located outdoors near the Library’s F-14 aircraft, situated on the west side of the Library’s property and clearly visible from inside the Library’s famous auditorium.