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-   -   F-117 secrecy. (https://www.pprune.org/military-aviation/453162-f-117-secrecy.html)

Willard Whyte 18th Mar 2014 21:05


Well, it's on the internet so it must be true.

For some reason blog spot (with no gap) won't post

500N 18th Mar 2014 21:20

That wasn't the only report from last year that they were flying although I can't seem to find a link to it.

It was interesting how they mothballed them as in very carefully which from what I read meant they could be taken out at reasonably short notice.

Willard Whyte 18th Mar 2014 21:49

I think mothballing is fairly standard procedure for any (vaguely) flyable, if unwanted, airframes.

The ?Boneyard? at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base | Deano In America

500N 18th Mar 2014 21:52

Yes, agree. But weren't the F-117's stored in a sealed warehouse as opposed to sent to the bone yard to go through one of the various stages there ?

Willard Whyte 18th Mar 2014 21:55

Didn't know that, but if so yes, 'tis a bit different.

It would certainly keep them in better condition than under the desert sun covered in spraylat.

Probably a function of keeping the 'stealth coating' both secret and protected to render them as useable as anything else in the Boneyard.

NutLoose 18th Mar 2014 22:46

Probably a function of keeping the 'stealth coating' both secret.
I think that little turkey was let out of the bag when one was shot down over Serbia, China and Russia no doubt pawed over parts of the remains post crash.

500N 18th Mar 2014 22:50


I found the link. Search F-117 storage Tonopath and you'll see the photos.
I notice they had the wings removed !

FoxtrotAlpha18 18th Mar 2014 23:50

I'm told there are still 3 or 4 flying out of Tonopah...saw one myself from the ground out near Cedar Ranch in late 2012.

The rest are stored in the 'canyon' hangars at Tonopah.

smujsmith 19th Mar 2014 00:19

I've just stumbled on this thread and believe I can dispel a few myths here. I was SNCO i/c Visiting Aircraft Support Section (VASS) 27 Apr 81 to 11 Nov 83. During that period the first year was spent with having the odd Sea King from HMS Gannet and the twice daily Loganair schedule.

AR1 #45. Nothing about blindfolds etc in the "VAS" crewroom old chap, it was usually so boring that the lads cooked burgers to order for the rest of the station, and delivered by the section Land Rover. For a seven man section, we had a very healthy tea bar fund.

Chopper 2004 #54. I believe the exercise you refer to was a major push by a US Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Service (ARRS). HH53, MC130, CH47 and A10 were all involved. The A10 boys, 509 Tactical Fighter Squadron, were great fun and we enjoyed some beer calls with them. I still have the disarmed round from the gun, presented to me at the time with the squadron patch. The HH53 guys managed to lift most of the families on the station for a day on a beach on Islay, Jura, Gigha or Colonsay. As usual a hardworking, but rewarding exercise.

Throughout my time at Machrihanish I held the inventory for both the Gaydon Hangar and all the dispersal buildings. We saw plenty of RAFG Buccaneers visiting to collect Salmon for their dining in nights. Nimrods and P3s for Loadex. But no Aurora, no F117 and no B2 sadly.

Nutloose #61. I suspect your BSH built Sgt was a Master chief Petty Officer SEAL, known as Tony. He was an Explosives specialist. We had an old Victor fuselage (XH588 comes to mind) that needed moving about 40 feet back on to the newly built Fire section burning area. Having "connections" with crash and smash we borrowed some trac jacks etc to do the job. All the kit arrived and we only had one problem, the nose leg was down, and would be a problem with the move. I explained our problem, and asked Tony if he could "surgically" remove the nose leg. No probs he said. The "controlled" explosion was tannoyed on the Monday morning followed by a large bang. I was allowed to press the firing button and was amazed as the whole fuselage did a precision back flip and landed square in the middle of the burning area, my prowess with the trac Jack was never to be needed.

The only visitor of note during my time at Machrihanish was a certain Mr Paul McCartney. He owned, and still does I believe, a farmhouse behind Rhanachan Hill, to the north East of the station. During my time there we had the pleasure of meeting Him, his wife Linda, Yoko Ono and many other "pop stars". None resembled secret weapons or aircraft, I was never required to don "see nothing" eye patches and perhaps its remote location might easily allow such surmises to be made, but not during my time.

Sorry for the lengthy post, hopefully it helps with the posts I've mentioned. Machrihanish gave me something I will always be grateful for, an 11 Handicap from never having hit a golf ball in 6 months, but that's another story.

Smudge :ok:

Wensleydale 19th Mar 2014 08:51

Back in the days of the Balkan Bombing Campaigns in the 1990s (I forget which one, but probably Allied Force), the E-3D was controlling the ingress and egress of USAF aircraft on the northern routes with the E-3A controlling the rest from a Southern orbit. The USAF was concerned that the raids on the ATO were leaking to Belgrade and therefore their ATO arrived for us via one of the F-16 Squadrons at Aviano rather than by signal.

One such morning, we took over the orbit with an F-117 raid in progress. Unfortunately, the F-117s were in silent mode and did not check in - they only checked out with us once they left theatre. We were somewhat disconcerted when one of their aircraft listed on the "black" ATO failed to check with us. About 60 minutes of fraught radio transmissions and following CSAR checklists etc followed and only stopped when CAOC finally admitted that the missing aircraft was a no-show but they had declined to tell us for security reasons!

Thanks Guys!

Norma Stitz 21st Mar 2014 02:41

Re the 'still flying' F-117 discussion, they've been operating from Groom Lake, not Tonopah.

chopper2004 2nd Nov 2014 09:45

F-19 existed?
Lol Happy Halloween all as this has been floating or flying stealthily around the WWW



Stuff 2nd Nov 2014 11:14

Isn't photoshop great?

Look here: https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Davis-Monthan+Air+Force+Base/@32.1503021,-110.8332897,782a,20y,90h/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x86d6653db2375c9b:0xdf50c8f87748ce3 8

The 4 B-52s have the right markings to match but since that old image, one F-14 seems to have had it's wings swept and a lot of bits of the B-2 have been taken away.

Throw in a couple of indistinct shapes and you're done!

Edit: And here's the original donor image http://2.bp.********.com/_SF6F08-TM7...eyard+REAL.jpg

Buster Hyman 2nd Nov 2014 12:26

Love seeing the B-36 at the museum in that link Stuff. :ok:

Stuff 2nd Nov 2014 15:01

Oops! They all the the same to me when they are in bits...

Buster Hyman 2nd Nov 2014 20:28

They're fully assembled in the Museum. There's even a Hustler there too!

Janet Spongthrush 3rd Nov 2014 07:50

Fot completeness, the F-117A was snapped flying in Sept-14 at Tonopah Test Range, callsign Night 12.


KenV 3rd Nov 2014 17:18

On the subject of Titanic, I believe Bob Ballards team used the dive as a fairly open excuse to do some actual work on some other more recent wrecks in the region - cant remember if they were US or Soviet though. The entire expedition was a convenient front!
Ballard was originally contracted by the US Navy to develop technology and techniques to dive on, take pictures of, and recover parts from the USS Scorpion and USS Thresher, both nuclear submarines which sank with all hands. (Neither submarine has been decommissioned and are officially considered to be on "eternal patrol".) Titanic was located roughly between the two. After that contract was completed, and IF there was time remaining, Ballard was permitted to use the Navy funded technology and equipment to find and dive on the Titanic. The Navy did not expect him to find the Titanic. When he did the Navy was worried about the publicity, but because of the world wide fascination with the Titanic, no one connected the dots. So no, the Titanic operation was not a front. It was a side-trip that Ballard was permitted to go on after executing a contract for the US Navy.

And incidentally, the US Navy constantly acoustically monitors and regularly visits and inspects both submarine sites. They are considered sovereign US territory and the Navy does not condone anyone but them visiting those sites.

Al R 3rd Nov 2014 21:07


You're probably familiar with Blind Man's Bluff. I'm amazed it's classified as non fiction.

chopper2004 22nd Nov 2014 17:41

Apparently there is a logical and no so secret reason why they are still flying.....:mad:

The Aviationist This is the reason why F-117 stealth jets are still flying. Maybe?

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