These photographs show some pretty interesting details of the iconic Stealth Jet.
As often reported here at The Aviationist, some F-117 Nighthawk stealth jets out of Tonopah Test Range continue to zip through the Nevada despite being officially retired in 2008. Some stories even claim the aircraft was actually re-introduced to combat in Syria and Iraq in 2017, although these claims have never been substantiated; however, the most recent sightings suggest that the aircraft continue to fly operational sorties, most probably playing the aggressor role for both training and testing duties.
Whatever, some F-117s have indeed been retired once for all. We spotted an F-117 fuselage being transported on a truck trailer on November 14, 2017. Last year, on Aug. 16, 2019 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 that the second one was delivered to the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California where it is currently on display.
A third F-117 is being prepared for public display: the Nighthawk that was delivered to the Hill Aerospace Museum, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, on Aug. 5, 2020.
The official FB account of the museum shared the news that the aircraft had just arrived from Tonopah where the airframe was demilitarized. The Hill Aerospace Museum shared also some really interesting shots of their “new” F-117 that you can find in this post.
As the other F-117, the Nighthawk was hauled on a flatbed truck without its wings and vertical stabilizers and other parts that will be attached by the Hill Aerospace Museum. The aircraft, whose original coating has been removed as it may still pose a security as well as a health risk, will also get its iconic overall black paint job so that it can be put on display in the Lindquist Stewart Gallery next week.
Noteworthy, the other F-117, the one at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California, had been prepared for display by Lockheed Martin as part of “Operation Nighthawk Landing” that saw the aircraft (#803/82-0803) being reconfigured and painted at Skunk Works in Palmdale, California.
H/T Al Clark for the heads-up!