YouTube - F-117


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Year Deployed
Year Retired
US$122.2 million
GE F404
2 x 10,800 lbs. ea.
30,000 lbs.
52,500 lbs.
5,000 lbs.
65 ft. 11 in.
43 ft. 4 in.
478 mph
684 mph
12,750 fpm
45,000 feet
1,300 miles


During the first Gulf War the F-117 (Lockheed F-117 Night Hawk) set a distance and endurance record for a single seat combat aircraft by flying from Holloman AFB in the U.S. to Kuwait in about 18 hours and 30 minutes.

The F-117 was developed in response to a U.S. Air Force requirement for a bomber capable of not being detected by enemy radar. A contract was awarded in 1978. The first flight was on June 18, 1981, and it was deployed in 1982. However, the existence of the aircraft was only made known to the public in 1988.

Features of the F-117 include angle optimized leading edges and surfaces, saw tooth edges on opening panels and doors, radar absorbing paint, coated engine intake gratings, and engine exhaust masking, all designed to reduce radar and thermal signatures.

In a further effort to keep a stealth profile, the F-117 does not use radar for navigation or weapons targeting. The aircraft utilizes infrared technology instead. It has a computerized flight control system that provides navigation and flight systems management. However, the pilot can visually acquire the target in a head up display for weapons delivery. It also has a video system to view and record real-time damage assessment.

The F-117 can carry up to 5,000 lbs. of ordinance internally. Typical weapons are two laser guided bombs, two penetration bombs, two wind corrected munitions dispensers, or two joint direct attack munitions and G P S guided stand-off bombs. In theory the F-117 can carry two of every weapon in the U.S.A.F. inventory including nuclear bombs.

The F-117 first saw action on December 20, 1989 during Operation Just Cause in Panama. During Operation Desert Storm in January and February of 1991, the stealthy aircraft was the only Coalition fixed wing bomber allowed to strike targets inside of Baghdad's city limits. It also conducted air strikes during NATO operations in the Balkans in March of 1999.

An F-117 was downed by a ground to air missile over Serbia in March of 1999. The aircraft remains were given to Russia and China for study.

It is estimated that Lockheed delivered 59 F-117 aircraft to the United States Air Force between August of 1982 and July of 1990. They were retired from service in 2008.



The F-117 from BlitzRCWorks comes as an ARF.  Its wingspan is 28 in. and length is 41 in.  Included is a brushless motor turning a 64 mm EDF unit.

There is an F-117 kit by Aviation Design with an epoxy fuselage and fully molded wings.  It is designed for power by a 35 to 40 lb. thrust turbine engine.  Wingspan is 61 in and length is 95 in.