Air International 2008-05
C.Kopp - F-117A Nighthawk. End of a Legend /Military/
In the first Gulf War in 1991 Lockheed's F-117A proved that the concept of stealth worked in combat and despite still being an effective bomber the type is being retired. This photo shows a Nighthawk in the familiar black scheme, while the aircraft peeling away is wearing an experimental lighter colour.
This formation of a F-117A and its successor, the F-22A, make an interesting comparison in approaches to stealth. The advent of supercomputers, after the Nighthawk had been designed, allowed the radar cross-section of compound curves to be predicted. This is why the B-2 and F-22 are not faceted.
Подвеска бомбы GBU-27
Nighthawks made their combat debut during Operation Just Cause in Panama in 1989, but achieved huge publicity two years later through their widely-reported missions in Operation Desert Storm. During the first Gulf War, F-117As represented only 2.5% of the strike force, but accounted for 40% of attacks on strategic targets. An inert GBU-27 is being loaded into the bomb bay of this aircraft during pre-war training at King Khalid Air Base, Saudi Arabia.
This view of the cockpit clearly shows the three Honeywell colour multi-function displays prominently situated on the instrument panel. The central one is normally used for infra-red acquisition and designation. The instrument and control layout is typical of 'conventional' aircraft of its generation.
Редкий снимок HB 1002 в полете - хорошо видна экзотическая форма самолета и сильная прямая стреловидность передней кромки крыла. Обратите внимание на граненые элевоны, подвижные хвостовые плоскости и убираемую ножевую антенну на нижней поверхности правой плоскости крыла.
Although Have Blue made its first flight in December 1977, it was not until November 1988 that the F-117A was revealed to the public by the US Department of Defense. This rare in-flight photograph of the second Have Blue shows its acute leading edge sweepback. Other notable features are the faceted elevons, moving 'platypus' exhaust duct fairing and retractable blade aerial under the starboard leading edge.