F-117 Nighthawk

F-117 Nighthawk

F-117 Nighthawk

The Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk is a retired American single-seat, twin-engine stealth surface–attack aircraft developed by Lockheed's secretive Skunk Works division and operated by the United States Air Force (USAF). It was the first operational aircraft to be designed around stealth technology.


The F-117 was based on the Have Blue technology demonstrator. The Nighthawk's maiden flight took place in 1981 at Groom Lake, Nevada, and the aircraft achieved initial operating capability status in 1983. The aircraft was shrouded in secrecy until it was revealed to the public in 1988. Of the 64 F-117s built, 59 were production versions, with the other five being prototypes.

The F-117 was widely publicized for its role in the Persian Gulf War of 1991. Although it was commonly referred to as the "Stealth Fighter", it was strictly an attack aircraft. F-117s took part in the conflict in Yugoslavia, where one was shot down and another damaged by surface-to-air missiles (SAM) in 1999. The U.S. Air Force retired the F-117 in April 2008, primarily due to the fielding of the F-22 Raptor. Despite the type's official retirement, a portion of the fleet has been kept in airworthy condition, and Nighthawks have been observed flying since 2009


The F-117 has a radar cross-section of about 0.001 m2 (0.0108 sq ft).[


F-117 Nighthawk CHARACTERISTICS

Crew: 1
Length: 65 ft 11 in (20.09 m)
Wingspan: 43 ft 4 in (13.21 m)
Height: 12 ft 5 in (3.78 m)
Wing area: 780 sq ft (72 m2) [113]
Airfoil: Lozenge section, 3 flats Upper, 2 flats Lower[114]
Empty weight: 29,500 lb (13,381 kg) [113]
Max takeoff weight: 52,500 lb (23,814 kg)
Powerplant: 2 × General Electric F404-F1D2 turbofan engines, 9,040 lbf (40.2 kN) thrust each
Performance

Maximum speed: 594 kn (684 mph, 1,100 km/h)
Maximum speed: Mach 0.92
Range: 930 nmi (1,070 mi, 1,720 km) ;[citation needed]
Service ceiling: 45,000 ft (14,000 m)
Wing loading: 67.3 lb/sq ft (329 kg/m2) calculated from[113]
Thrust/weight: 0.40
Armament
2 × internal weapons bays with one hardpoint each (total of two weapons) equipped to carry:
Bombs:
GBU-10 Paveway II laser-guided bomb with 2,000 lb (910 kg) Mk84 blast/fragmentation or BLU-109 or BLU-116 Penetrator warhead
GBU-12 Paveway II laser-guided bomb with 500 lb (230 kg) Mk82 blast/fragmentation warhead
GBU-27 Paveway III laser-guided bomb with 2,000 lb (910 kg) Mk84 blast-fragmentation or BLU-109 or BLU-116 Penetrator warhead
GBU-31 JDAM INS/GPS guided munition with 2,000 lb (910 kg) Mk84 blast-frag or BLU-109 Penetrator warhead
B61 nuclear bomb

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