Man Made Birds – F-117A Nighthawk

F-117 Nighthawk

F-117 Nighthawk

The F-117A NightHawk is a ‘Stealth’ attack aircraft. The F-117A uses flat, angled fuselage and wing panels. They direct radar reflections to a few sharply defined directions. It has aerodynamic disadvantages with this design, but because of the computer controls it is said to be easy to fly.

Precision attacks from the F117A can be executed on point targets with impunity or little chance of damage due to it’s steathiness, but the plane has a limited weapons load. This plane was used at the start of the first invasion of Iraq.

On 27 March 1999 a NightHawk was shot down over Yugoslavia. A couple of years earlier (14 September 1997) an F-117A broke apart during an air show and crashed. On 28 Oct 2006, after 25 years of service the F-117A Nighthawk, the US Air Force’s first stealth fighter, is about to retire.

The high-tech technology of those times, which once made it a unique weapon system, has now caught up to it. Newer fighter aircraft are now in the fleet with another joining it soon.

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