Air Force News

F-117 stealth fighter logs 150,000 hours

Released: 28 Aug 1998

HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AFNS) -- The F-117 stealth fighter completed flying its 150,000 flying hour when Brig. Gen. Bill Lake, 49th Fighter Wing commander, touched down on Holloman's runway Aug. 25.

The flying milestone was measured from the first F-117 flight by Lockheed Martin test pilot Hal Farley June 18, 1981. The first Air Force pilot to fly the F-117 was then Maj. Al Whitley, Oct. 15, 1982.

The 150,000 hours included flight time of 59 Air Force aircraft and five additional test aircraft belonging to Lockheed Martin. Lockheed Martin is the manufacturer of the F-117, delivering 59 stealth fighters to the Air Force between August 1982 and July 1990.

"What we have demonstrated in the past provides the American public a vivid picture of the Air Force's current and future capabilities," said Lake.

Since the F-117's first Air Force flight in 1982, the aircraft has flown under different Air Force unit designations, including the 4450th Tactical Group and the 37th Tactical Fighter Wing at Tonapah Test Range, Nev.; the 57th Fighter Weapons Wing, Nellis AFB, Nev.; and the 410th Flight Test Squadron/410th Test Squadron, Palmdale, Calif. Besides the 49th FW, the main unit currently flying the F-117A Nighthawk is Detachment 1, Test Evaluation Group that also flies the black jet at Holloman. Det. 1, TEG falls under the 53rd Wing, Eglin AFB, Fla.

The stealth fighter emerged from the classified world while stationed at Tonapah Airfield with an announcement by the Pentagon Nov. 10, 1988, and was first shown publicly at Nellis April 21, 1990.

"Because of the F-117's proven stealth characteristics, when we are tasked, we can more easily penetrate heavily defended enemy positions which allows this aircraft to hit highly valued targets with pinpoint accuracy and minimize potential collateral damage," said Lake. (Courtesy of Air Combat Command News Service)


* F-117 Nighthawk
* Air Combat Command
* Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.
* Holloman Air Force Base, N.M.
* Brig. Gen. Bill Lake
* Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.