View Full Version : USAF retiring the Stealth Fighter

Buster Hyman
11th Mar 2008, 23:21
Filed in Trendwatch
By Humphrey Cheung
Tuesday, March 11, 2008 16:36
Washington DC – After a 27-year run, the Air Force is retired the F-117 Stealth Fighter. Meant to be nearly invisible to radar, the F-117 has bombed targets in Panama, Afghanistan, Kosovo and Iraq. The F-117s are currently being replaced with the F-22 Raptor.
An informal retirement ceremony will be held at Wright-Patterson Air Force base and the last flights will take off from Holloman Airbase in New Mexico on April 21. The planes will be preserved for a quick return to service if needed.
The intentionally misnamed F-117 Stealth Fighter is actually a bomber that can carry up to two bombs. In order to decrease the plane’s radar signature, the bombs must be carried in internal bays that open up just before the weapon’s release.
59 F-117s were made and seven have crashed. Serbia claims to have shot down one of the seven during the Kosovo conflict in 1999, but the Air Force says mechanical damage forced the plane to the ground. During the first Gulf War conflict, a British ship claims to have detected an F-117 jet.
By today’s standards the F-117 was a very cheap aircraft. Each F-117 cost approximately $45 million dollars while the plane’s replacement, the F-22 Raptor, costs approximately $200 million each.

*Always makes me wonder what we don't know about....:ooh:

tony draper
11th Mar 2008, 23:31
Being the cousins they will moth ball em and stash em in the desert, if they can find the buggas that is.

11th Mar 2008, 23:33
Maybe Australia should buy them as a cheap replacement for the F-111. Might as well add them to the list of replacement ideas :E

12th Mar 2008, 00:15
Not a bad idea Marty. The depreciated value on the original price must be about 4/5ths of buggra all by now.

12th Mar 2008, 00:27
America, home of the brave. Of course, it's easy to be brave when you have an invisible bomber that no one can actually shoot at. Al murray, 2005.:p

12th Mar 2008, 01:06
Yep, it never took guts to fly over Baghdad for umpty nights consecutively in 1991 and knowing that the 'dumb' AAA couldn't see you, so therefore it couldn't hit you.:ugh:

Wonder if the guy who had a nylon letdown in 1999 over the former Yugoslavia had it 'easy?'

12th Mar 2008, 02:19
Hey now, the ashtrays got dirty, we must have standards you know. :p

The story I love about the F-117 was when one was nearly shot down by an F-15. Somehow the F-117 ended up between a MIG 29 (I think) and the F-15 that had just fired a missile at the MIG, the MIG didn't detect the F-117, the F-15 didn't detect the F-117 and the missile didn't detect the F-117. The missile passed the F-117 and hit the MIG.

Buster Hyman
12th Mar 2008, 02:32
And the F-117 didn't detect the missile? No wonder they're retiring it!!!;)

12th Mar 2008, 02:59
No, the 'Stinkbug' pilot very vividly saw the missile as it tracked just above him.........

This fight was featured in the History Channel's "Dogfight" show on "Night Fighters." I (shameless plug here) was on it for some of the WWII scenes, but the Eagle driver (now an F-22 squadron commander) who killed that MiG was there the same day.

He'd brought the painting he'd had commissioned of the fight as well as told me his story including the unobserved F-117 in the middle of the fight.

Dan D'air
12th Mar 2008, 03:15
Have seen it's replacement anyway!!! Picked it up from a frigate circa '99.

Oops got to go, Black car outside..................

12th Mar 2008, 07:22
Brickhistory, it was a quote from a comedian. You know, these people who tell jokes and say funny things. I'm sure you have some over your side of the pond, some of whom may have said something similar.

Oh, and didn't that guy over the former Yugoslavia have his letdown because someone told the bad guys what his flight plan was? (I blame the French meself)

tony draper
12th Mar 2008, 09:42
However it were possibly the ugliest flying machine ever devised by man,not eye pleasing street fighter ugly like the Phantom, just ugly ugly.

12th Mar 2008, 10:47
ugliest flying machine ever devised by man

As my eyes beheld it, Boeing's (losing) contender for the JSF programme is/was a strong contender for ugliest.....



12th Mar 2008, 11:52
I initially read the report as referring to the F-117A only... but there was no F-117B, was there? When I looked the plane up just now, the most surprising thing to me was that they only ever built 64 of them, including the 5 full-scale test planes.

12th Mar 2008, 11:52
Ah yes, the X-32 Monica......


Buster Hyman
12th Mar 2008, 12:19
Ah yes, the X-32 Monica......
And if you look closely, you can still see the stain!

Dan D'air
12th Mar 2008, 12:29
I have it on very good authority that the stain on Monicas dress was in fact soup. Cockaleekie.

12th Mar 2008, 12:47
retiring the Stealth Fighter

You would have thought they might have kept that quiet. What's more stealthy that the stealth fighter that isn't there ..........

12th Mar 2008, 12:59
Maybe that's the idea, ThreadBaron, people THINK it's been retired and then wonder "WTF WAS THAT!!" when one sneaks over and drops a bomb on them....