Hobby Master 1-72 Air Power
HA5807 Lockheed F-117A Nighthawk 85-831
(with Skunk Works artwork on the underside)

In the 1970’s Soviet air defense systems improved and the U.S. realized they had to develop aircraft to counter this. Lockheed Skunk Works was tasked with the job and two aircraft were built under the code name “Have Blue” that proved stealth aircraft could be produced. As a result the F-117 Nighthawk was developed and first flew in 1981 with the first production F-117 80-10785 making its maiden flight on April 20, 1982 but it wasn’t until 1988 that the Pentagon confirmed its existence.

The 412th Test Wing / 410th Flight Test Squadron at Edwards AFB were the last units to operate the F-117. F-117A first flew in 1987 and on December 1, 1988 was the first F-117 to test the new OCIP II upgrade. Between November 27 and December 6, 1990 #831 wore a painting of a skunk on its belly as a tribute to the Skunk Works. On December 6, 1990 #831 was flown to Area 51 to celebrate the retirement of the company’s president Ben Rich. The painting was removed immediately after the event.

Specifications for the Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk
Role – Fighter/Attack
First Deployment – 1982
Retired – April 22, 2008
Full Scale Development Aircraft – 5
Production Aircraft – 59
Crew – 1
Length – 65 ft 11 in (20.09 m) Wingspan – 43 ft 4 in (13.20 m) Height – 12 ft 9 in (3.78 m)
Empty – 29,500 lbs (13,380 kg) Loaded – 52,500 lbs (23,800 kg)
Powerplants – 2 X General Electric F404-F1D2 Turbofan Engine Each Producing 10,600 lbf (48.0 kN)
Maximum – 617 mph (Mach .092 / 993 km/h) Range – 930 nm (1,720 km / Unlimited with Air Refuel) Service Ceiling – 45,000 ft (13,716 m)
2 X Internal Weapons Bays, 1 X Hardpoint Per Bay, Total 2 Weapons Capacity Laser Guided Bombs GBU-10 Paveway II 2,000 lb Bomb GBU-12 Paveway II 500 lb Bomb GBU-16 Paveway II 1,000 Bomb GBU-27 Have Void (Modified GBU-24 Modified For The F-117) 2000lb
GPS Guided Bombs
GBU-29 JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition) GBU-30 JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition) GBU-31 JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition) INS/GPS Guided Munitions GBU-32 JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition) (WCMD) Wind Corrected Munition Dispenser
AGM-65 Maverick (Air-to-surface Guided Missile) AGM-88 HARM (High-speed Anti-radiation Missile) AGM-137 TSSAM (Tri-Service Standoff Attack Missile) AGM-154 JSOW (Joint Standoff Weapon) AGM-154 JASSM (Joint Air to Surface Standoff Missile)