The June 8th, 1993, eight F-117As of the
415th FS deployed to Gilze-Rijen, Netherlands for Central Enterprise 1993 under
the code name of “Coronet Havoc”. They arrived under the callsigns
“Clan” 51-54, 61-64, and spent a total of about 45 days in Holland.
“…. and we waited for the F-117A’s to arrive. We quickly found out that we were not alone, as large crowds of fighter aircraft enthusiasts would patiently await outside the perimeter fencing at the end-of-the runway, to watch the F-117A’s. The were there each and every day, waving flags, and shouting with pleasure. I think they even set up some snack bars! One would have easily mistaken the F-117A exercise for an airshow!”
Central Enterprise is an annual NATO live-fire exercise. The Central Enterprise exercise was designed to evaluate new joint air defense employment concepts. The exercise was a good start for NATO, though Air Force participation was initially relatively scripted in support of the Army evaluation and emphasis was on the evaluation as opposed to training. The objective of Coronet Havoc was not only to have the Wing practice moving to and operating from an unknown area but also to teach the NATO planners of air operations how to put the F-117 in the combined Combined Air Operations. Of course, the Black Jets operate almost exclusively at night and that meant that the start of the missions usually only fell in the evening after six o’clock and the last aircraft did not return until midnight.
A few familiarisation flights took place in
broad daylight in the first two flying days.
After the announcement pilots could fly the F-117 during daytime and no longer needed to be associated with the A-7, flying the T-38 for travel and training instead. In April 1990 two F-117 aircraft were flown into Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, arriving during daylight and publicly displayed to a crowd of tens of thousands. Quote: “Shortly after I arrived in Las Vegas to work at the Dunes, the USAF announced a static display of two aircraft for a one day open house at Nellis AFB.” Five Full Scale Development (FSD) aircraft were built, designated “YF-117A”. The last of 59 production F-117s were delivered on 3 July 1990.As the Air Force has stated, “Streamlined management by Aeronautical Systems Center, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, combined breakthrough stealth technology with concurrent development and production to rapidly field the aircraft… The F-117A program demonstrates that a stealth aircraft can be designed for reliability and maintainability.”As with other exotic military aircraft types flying in the southern Nevada area, such as captured fighters, an arbitrary radio call of “117” was assigned. This same radio call had been used by the enigmatic 4477th Test and Evaluation Squadron, also known as the “Red Hats” or “Red Eagles”, that often had flown expatriated MiGs in the area, but there was no relationship to the call and the formal F-19 designation then being considered by the Air Force. Apparently, use of the “117” radio call became commonplace and when Lockheed released its first flight manual (i.e., the Air Force “dash one” manual for the aircraft), F-117A was the designation printed on the cover.The designation “F-117” seems to indicate that it was given an official designation prior to the 1962 U.S. Tri-Service Aircraft Designation System and could be considered numerically to be a part of the earlier “Century series” of fighters. The assumption prior to the revealing of the aircraft to the public was that it would likely receive the designation F-19 as that number had not been used. However there were no other aircraft to receive a “100” series number following the F-111. Soviet fighters obtained by the United States via various means under the Constant Peg program were given F-series numbers for their evaluation by U.S. pilots, and with the advent of the Teen Series fighters, most often Century Series designations.The F-117’s unusual design surprised and puzzled experienced pilots; a Royal Air Force officer who flew it as an exchange officer while still secret stated that when he first saw a photograph of the F-117, he “promptly giggled and thought to myself ’this clearly can’t fly'”. It is shaped to deflect radar signals and is about the size of an F-15 Eagle.The F-117 has a radar signature of about 0.025 m2 (0.269 sq ft). Among the penalties for stealth are lower engine power thrust, due to losses in the inlet and outlet, a very low wing aspect ratio, and a high sweep angle (50°) needed to deflect incoming radar waves to the sides. With these design considerations and no afterburner, the F-117 is limited to subsonic speeds.The F-117A carries no radar, which lowers emissions and cross-section, and whether it carries any radar detection equipment is classified. The aircraft is equipped with sophisticated navigation and attack systems integrated into a digital avionics suite. It navigates primarily by GPS and high-accuracy inertial navigation. Missions are coordinated by an automated planning system that can automatically perform all aspects of an attack mission, including weapons release.During the program’s early years, from 1984 to mid-1992, the F-117A fleet was based at Tonopah Test Range Airport, Nevada where it served under the 4450th Tactical Group. Because the F-117 was classified during this time, the unit was officially located at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada and equipped with A-7 Corsair II aircraft. The 4450th was absorbed by the 37th Tactical Fighter Wing in 1989. In 1992, the entire fleet was transferred to Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, where it was placed under the command of the 49th Fighter Wing. This move also eliminated the Key Air and American Trans Air contract flights to Tonopah, which flew 22,000 passenger trips on 300 flights from Nellis to Tonopah per month.F-117 pilots called themselves “Bandits”. Each of the 558 Air Force pilots who have flown the F-117 have a Bandit number, such as “Bandit 52”, that indicates the sequential order of their first flight in the F-117.The F-117 has been used several times in war. Its first mission was during the United States invasion of Panama in 1989. During that invasion two F-117A Nighthawks dropped two bombs on Rio Hato airfield.Touchdown of an F-117A on Gilze Rijen airbase.Shorly after touchdown, the dragchute is pulled.The dragchute is deployed in a wink.During the Persian Gulf War in 1991, the F-117A flew approximately 1,300 sorties and scored direct hits on 1,600 high-value targets in Iraq. over 6,905 flight hours. Leaflet drops on Iraqi forces displayed the F-117 destroying ground targets and warned readers “Escape now and save yourselves”.Initial reports of the F-117 hitting 80% of their targets were later scaled back to “41-60%”. On the first night they failed to hit 40% of the air-defense targets they were assigned, including the Air Defense Operations Center in Baghdad, and 8 such targets remained functional out of 10 that could be assessed. In their Desert Storm white paper the USAF claimed that “the F-117 was the only airplane that the planners dared risk over downtown Baghdad” and that this area was particularly well defended. In fact most of the air defenses were on the outskirts of the city and many other aircraft hit targets in the downtown area, with minimal casualties when they attacked at night like the F-117. This meant they avoided the optically aimed AAA and infra-red SAMs which were the biggest threat to Coalition aircraft.The aircraft was operated in secret from Tonopah for almost a decade, but after the Gulf War the aircraft moved moved to Holloman in 1992. Its integration with the USAF’s non-stealth “iron jets” occurred slowly, however; because of ongoing secrecy, others continued to see the aircraft, as one senior F-117A pilot later said, “none of their business, a stand-alone system”. The F-117A and the men and women of the 49th Fighter Wing were deployed to Southwest Asia on multiple occasions. On their first deployment, with the aid of aerial refueling, pilots flew non-stop from Holloman to Kuwait, a flight of approximately 18.5 hours – a record for single-seat fighters that stands today.The F-117 was subsequently used in Operation Desert Thunder (Part of Operation Southern Watch) from 1997 to 1998, Operation Allied Force in 1999, Operation Enduring Freedom in 2001, and Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.Only one F-117 (AF ser. no. 82-0806) was lost to enemy action. It was shot down during a mission against the Army of Yugoslavia on 27 March 1999, during Operation Allied Force. About 8:15 pm local time, SA-3s were fired from about 8 miles (13 km) away, launched by a Yugoslav version of the Soviet Isayev S-125 “Neva” (NATO name SA-3 “Goa”) anti-aircraft missile system.[The F-117A’s faceted shape (made from 2-dimensional flat surfaces) resulted from the limitations of the 1970s-era computer technology used to calculate its radar cross-section. Later supercomputers made it possible for subsequent planes like the B-2 bomber to use curved surfaces while staying stealthy, through the use of far more computational resources to do the additional calculations needed..Note the mesh in front of the air intake. Thought limiting the available airflow (note the open door on top of the intake for extra air) it is also a filter for radarbeams. In this way the rotating fan cannot be seen by the radar. also visibel is a radar refletor of the side f the fuselage, allowing detecion by primary radar during peacetime.81-10797 en route to tthe ctive runway during its first European deploymentThe decision to produce the F-117A was made on 1 November 1978, and a contract was awarded to Lockheed Advanced Development Projects, popularly known as the Skunk Works, in Burbank, California. The program was led by Ben Rich, who called on Bill Schroeder, a Lockheed mathematician, and Denys Overholser, a computer scientist, to exploit Ufimtsev’s work. The three designed a computer program called “Echo”, which made it possible to design an airplane with flat panels, called facets, which were arranged so as to scatter over 99% of a radar’s signal energy “painting” the aircraft.The first YF-117A, serial number 79-0780, made its maiden flight from Groom Lake, Nevada on 18 June 1981, only 31 months after the full-scale development decision. The first production F-117A was delivered in 1982, and operational capability was achieved in October 1983. The Air Force denied the existence of the aircraft until 10 November 1988, when Assistant Secretary of Defense J. Daniel Howard displayed a grainy photograph at a Pentagon press conference, disproving the many inaccurate rumors about the shape of the secret “F-19”.The USAF had not envisangaged that the regular maintenance would be visible form the public road. We however had first ranks viewing the preparations of the flight.A maintanied is checking a flpaperon. Also can be seen a SUU-20 POD on a ejector rack in the bombbay. The doors are widely open!!All moving doors have the fornt and rear door gaps saw-tooth as to prevent a frontal radar echo from the door gaps.The first two day after crewwrest were dayflight for familiarisation. The planes visited a lot of airfields includiing Schiphol which was an alternate during night operations.Also present were a lot of spotter from all over Europe…Moment before touchdown.In 1964, Pyotr Ufimtsev, a Soviet mathematician, published a seminal paper titled Method of Edge Waves in the Physical Theory of Diffraction in the journal of the Moscow Institute for Radio Engineering, in which he showed that the strength of a radar return is related to the edge configuration of an object, not its size. Ufimtsev was extending theoretical work published by the German physicist Arnold Sommerfeld. Ufimtsev demonstrated that he could calculate the radar cross-section across a wing’s surface and along its edge. The obvious and logical conclusion was that even a large aircraft could be made stealthy by exploiting this principle. However, the airplane’s design would make it aerodynamically unstable, and the state of computer technology in the early 1960s could not provide the kinds of flight computers which allow aircraft such as the F-117 and B-2 Spirit to stay airborne. However, by the 1970s, when Lockheed analyst Denys Overholser found Ufimtsev’s paper, computers and software had advanced significantly, and the stage was set for the development of a stealthy airplane.The F-117 was born after combat experience in the Vietnam War when increasingly sophisticated Soviet surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) downed heavy bombers. It was a black project, an ultra-secret program for much of its life, until the late 1980s. The project began in 1975 with a model called the “Hopeless Diamond” (a wordplay on the Hope Diamond because of its appearance). The following year, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency issued Lockheed Skunk Works a contract to build and test two Stealth Strike Fighters, under the code name “Have Blue”.These subscale aircraft incorporated jet engines of the Northrop T-38A, fly-by-wire systems of the F-16, landing gear of the A-10, and environmental systems of the C-130. By bringing together existing technology and components, Lockheed built two demonstrators under budget, at $35 million for both aircraft, and in record time.The maiden flight of the demonstrators occurred on 1 December 1977. Although both aircraft were lost during the demonstration program, test data proved positive. The success of Have Blue led the government to increase funding for stealth technology. Much of that increase was allocated towards the production of an operational stealth aircraft, the Lockheed F-117A, under the program code name “Senior Trend”.85-0142
LM Aero T/V 6D-132
Local C/N L-239
Delivered RNlAF J-142
F-16A Block 15Y OCU
Current RNlAF J-142
F-16A Block 20 MLU
12 Feb 1988 J-142 F-16A Block 15Y OCU
13 Feb 1988 315 sqn
Feb 1989 313 sqn
May 1990 314 sqn
May 1992 316 sqn
Apr 1993 316 sqn
Special Colorscheme Celebration scheme for 40 years of 316 sqn.
Jan 1994 316 sqn
Tail logo to commemorate the disbandment of 316 sqn with ‘316 sqn 53-94 RIP’ titles.
Feb 1994 314 sqn
Apr 1995 323 sqn
Dec 1997 312 sqn
Unknown [con] F-16A Block 20 MLU
Apr 1999 323 sqn
Apr 2005 312 sqn
Apr 2014 322 sqn
Demo aircraft for the 2014-2015 team.AT02
1978 Dassault-Dornier Alpha Jet 1B C/N B02/1014PC-7 L-03 somes in for a practice landing. These are stationed on the nearby Woensdrecht AB.The white paint is for UN missions. C-6 (cn 10156) 334 sq aircraft,C-4 has other modifications Note the radome under the fuselage and the streamline chaff/ flare dispenser ate the rear. This is done for flights to Bosnia.A-336 flying by…
Meest recente berichten
Manage Cookie Consent
To provide the best experiences, we use technologies like cookies to store and/or access device information. Consenting to these technologies will allow us to process data such as browsing behavior or unique IDs on this site. Not consenting or withdrawing consent, may adversely affect certain features and functions.
The technical storage or access is strictly necessary for the legitimate purpose of enabling the use of a specific service explicitly requested by the subscriber or user, or for the sole purpose of carrying out the transmission of a communication over an electronic communications network.
The technical storage or access is necessary for the legitimate purpose of storing preferences that are not requested by the subscriber or user.
The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for statistical purposes.The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for anonymous statistical purposes. Without a subpoena, voluntary compliance on the part of your Internet Service Provider, or additional records from a third party, information stored or retrieved for this purpose alone cannot usually be used to identify you.
The technical storage or access is required to create user profiles to send advertising, or to track the user on a website or across several websites for similar marketing purposes.