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F-117A spotted flying over Nevada: CONFIRMED

quellish

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Shot in July:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvyaG7EIC18
 

Gridlock

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quellish said:
Shot in July:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvyaG7EIC18
I eagerly await reports of triangular UFOS over the US stating that the 117 has been retired and therefore what they saw could not have been one :)

The more 'mundane' but massively important use for anything that flies and is out in Nevada is when you acquire new Red Team technology and want to see what they see. As mentioned several times here the data available on that LO airframe provides perhaps the best baseline you could ask for, and represents the first generation of opposition LO that is likely to emerge.

PAK-FA is moving along nicely and of course the PLA has its 1:1 toy to play with. I'd imagine there's value in seeing just how more modern Russian stuff tries to work against the technology of the 117 as they of course got to play with most of one over 15 years ago now and understanding their reaction allows for extrapolation.
 

quellish

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Apparently they have been up in the air again this week, not as a part of exercises.
 
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sublight

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quellish said:
Apparently they have been up in the air again this week, not as a part of exercises.
Are you saying the stuff flying out of TTR and onto the groom testing ranges was an F-117?
 

quellish

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sublight said:
Are you saying the stuff flying out of TTR and onto the groom testing ranges was an F-117?
I am not. That was something else. The F-117 activity is confirmed. The other activity was probably unrelated.
 

sferrin

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quellish said:
sublight said:
Are you saying the stuff flying out of TTR and onto the groom testing ranges was an F-117?
That was something else.
And what would the "something else" be?
 

quellish

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sferrin said:
And what would the "something else" be?
Something that is not an F-117 flying at night. Different timing, different part of the range, different lighting, different resources supporting the activity.
Also different topic.
 
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Ian33

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?

Sentinel? Going to go out on a limb and ask if any one else knows the other airframe the 30th are flying?
 

sferrin

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quellish said:
sferrin said:
And what would the "something else" be?
Something that is not an F-117 flying at night. Different timing, different part of the range, different lighting, different resources supporting the activity.
Also different topic.
Could you be a little more specific? ::)
 

LowObservable

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But that I am forbid
To tell the secrets of my prison-house,
I could a tale unfold whose lightest word
Would harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood,
Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres,
Thy knotted and combined locks to part
And each particular hair to stand on end,
Like quills upon the fretful porpentine....


(Yes, I think Quellish is being a tad dramatic.)
 
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sublight

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LowObservable said:
(Yes, I think Quellish is being a tad dramatic.)
Maybe, maybe not. A quote from the dreamland resort web master...

The best indication for a test being conducted are the red and blue radiation warning lights on the radar sites near the Back Gate. For instance, this past Monday night, after participants in the Red Flag night exercise left the area, the radar sites came online and a test aircraft, callsign "Greyhound 4" flew over two dozen passes over the radar sites ("Corvette") for two hours without ever being seen. It came out of TTR, not Groom. Test flights out of Groom rarely use clear frequencies.
 

quellish

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sferrin said:
Could you be a little more specific? ::)
Sorry, I wasn't there to infiltrate the facility and scan the flight test logs. It was definitely not an F-117, it was jet powered, it was pretty clearly a different test activity than the F-117 flight. These kinds of things happen regularly on the ranges, especially at this time of year. There are ongoing exercises on the ranges that compete for resources with test activity as well. The F-117 flights over the past year have been more overt than normal test activity.
 
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Ian33

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Not to be out of order here but imho Quellish isn't here to spoon feed us. Sure she drops some awesome on us, and some times makes us go away and do our own thinking. Me? I'm seriously thinking of a trip to TTR fence to see whats going on down because Quellish thrown us enough info to spell it out loud and clear.

Awesome is hiding in TTR.
 

Stargazer2006

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Ian33 said:
Not to be out of order here but imho Quellish isn't here to spoon feed us. Sure she drops some awesome on us, and some times makes us go away and do our own thinking.
Quellish is a SHE??? :eek: :eek:
 

sferrin

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quellish said:
sferrin said:
Could you be a little more specific? ::)
Sorry, I wasn't there to infiltrate the facility and scan the flight test logs. It was definitely not an F-117, it was jet powered, it was pretty clearly a different test activity than the F-117 flight. These kinds of things happen regularly on the ranges, especially at this time of year. There are ongoing exercises on the ranges that compete for resources with test activity as well. The F-117 flights over the past year have been more overt than normal test activity.
Got ya. Didn't know if you were a hobbyist reporting what he saw or an insider who didn't know how to keep quiet. ;)
 

quellish

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Stargazer2006 said:
Quellish is a SHE??? :eek: :eek:
Only on a Saturday night.

sferrin said:
Got ya. Didn't know if you were a hobbyist reporting what he saw or an insider who didn't know how to keep quiet. ;)
Neither. Has anyone seen AF-3 lately?
 
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Ian33

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:-X Typo! Sorry Quellish for that.

As for Grey Hound.

Fast and sleek dog, a long distance hauler, or a relation to Grey Dragon of F 117 test fame? All mullings my own :)
 

sferrin

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If Quellish is a chick I'm going to have to turn in my man card. :p
 

flanker

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I was unsure where to post these pictures, as this is about F-117, but about it in the zombie form. Still, very interesting pictures imho.

1983!

"Best Of Denny Lombard, #5

After a forty-one year career, Lockheed Martin photographer Denny Lombard will retire on 30 January 2011. Since moving behind the camera in 1982, he created some of the most enduring images in aviation history. The Spotlight photo this week is Denny's seven all-time favorite images. Here's number five. This image from 17 June 1983 shows two of the company's most famous test pilots, Tony LeVier (left) and Dave Ferguson (right), in front of two of the company's most famous aircraft, the P-80 Shooting Star and the F-117 Nighthawk. Both of the aircraft are now on display in front of the Skunk Works headquarters building in Palmdale, California.
Photo by Denny Lombard
Photo Posted: 26 January 2011"

http://www.codeonemagazine.com/images/media/2011_01_26_Spotlight_XP80_F117_1267828237_1158.jpg

"Best Of Denny Lombard, #2

Lockheed Martin photographer Denny Lombard retired on 30 January 2011 after a stellar forty-one year career. Since moving behind the camera in 1982, he created some of the most enduring images in aviation history. The Spotlight photos this week are Denny's seven all-time favorite images. Here's number two. This sunset image shows the one-quarter scale F-117 radar cross section pole model at the company's test center at Hellendale, California.
Photo by Denny Lombard
Photo Posted: 30 January 2011"

http://www.codeonemagazine.com/images/media/2011_01_30_Spotlight_HellendaleF117_1267828237_5857.jpg
 

Vulcan652

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Nice links, thanks for posting. How cool to be the official Lockheed photographer. I suppose on the plus side you get to see and photograph some awesome technology. Downside is that half of your portfolio is classified!
 

flanker

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I had a former F-117 maintenance guy coming through school to be a flight engineer and he said that 4 airframes are flying out of the other base North of Nellis. The ones in storage at Tonopah are being cut up and buried out on the range so nobody will ever have access to them. Sad end for an airplane that served it's country so well.
Yep...he said 4 flyers and 2 maintenance spares for parts. I guess they took the 6 lowest time airframes. Another guy who was a 117 pilot that took a few to Tonopah from Holloman said that the pilots currently flying them are retired AF and work for Lockheed as contractor pilots. That has to be a fun job.
Wow, with 4 flying frames i guess you can cover wide specter of different tasks, not just RCS coatings for F-35...
 

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Is it possible these could be the reactivated F-117 airframes (see attachments)? These are the only public images I know of of the stored jets at TTR. While the first image shows more F-117s (with 832 in the foreground) than the second, which shows only 4 aircraft in the hangar, they look like the same aircraft in both photos. I know there's no way of knowing for sure, but the slight colour differentials (including Gray Dragon) and similarities in the ways the jets' canopies/intakes are masked etc, suggest (to me, at least!) they might be the same. With that in mind, I initially wondered if 832 (removed from the hangar in second photo) was the one flying again. After reading the above it got me wondering whether all these jets are involved? Probably a long shot, but fun to think about!
 

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flanker

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If you take a look above, i gave piece of information there that says there is 4 frames flying. ;) And those pictures are old.
 

Vulcan652

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flanker said:
If you take a look above, i gave piece of information there that says there is 4 frames flying. ;) And those pictures are old.

Yep, I saw your post after I added my ill-researched questions - my bad :) Do you know if the airframes have already been cut up?
 

flanker

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The ones that are/have been flying? I have no idea.
 

Vulcan652

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flanker said:
The ones that are/have been flying? I have no idea.

Sorry no, not the flying ones. I meant the remaining ones in storage...
 

quellish

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http://aroundtherange.blogspot.co.uk/
 

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Finally got round to the high-res photo. Most likely callsign was DOBBY17.


Whilst I admit an F-117A at 22000ft is relatively quiet it's quite distinctive with the naked eye. Given that we have only spent a day near Groom three times in 4 years and seen a F-117A on two of those occasions, it sounds like they must fly often or I need to do the lottery.


Ian
 

Stargazer2006

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Topic's title changed. Nothing "alleged" anymore... we now have pics.
 

DSE

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Guest Post From the Archives: Revisiting the F-117A Revelation
Posted by Sean Meade 2:32 PM on Mar 11, 2014

William Scott writes:

A fuzzy, low-quality photo of an airborne USAF/Lockheed F-117A Nighthawk on the May 1, 1989, cover of Aviation Week & Space Technology marked a milestone event for the magazine. It was the culmination of eyewitness reports AW&ST editors had received for several months, indisputable proof that the "stealth fighter" was being flown on daytime training missions several hundred miles from its Tonopah, Nev., home base.

However, getting that photo of an F-117A had been tough. Since my AW&ST home office was in the California high desert, near Edwards AFB and the nation's civilian flight test center in Mojave, my phone rang every time someone spotted a Nighthawk—day or night. One dedicated "watcher," who worked for an aerospace contractor and lived in Mojave, never hesitated to call in the wee hours, excitedly reporting the latest F-117A flyover.

Link to original AvWeek article outing the F-117 at the end of the post

William B. Scott is former AW&ST Rocky Mountain Bureau Chief (retired in 2007) and the author, The Permit, a novel based on actual events.
 

kcran567

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Maybe testing some new stealth countermeasure equipment?
 

quellish

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kcran567 said:
Maybe testing some new stealth countermeasure equipment?

The F-117s have supported several programs. Speaking broadly, this has mostly been as a VLO target for.... Things. Doesn't mean "stealth countermeasures". FME, EW, seeker tests, benchmarks for other programs, testbed for magical RAM.
Not a super sexy UCAV or special operations strike squad or anything of that nature.
 

Spongthrush

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Here's a couple of ours from September 29th. Not fiddled with the images yet but you get the idea; perhaps more interesting is that this one came out of a different barn/hangar to the one that flew the next day. Callsign was 'Night 12', I'd post the audio if I knew how, mentions dropping the chute on the runway.....did they use chutes when operational?














 

Moose

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Spongthrush said:
Here's a couple of ours from September 29th. Not fiddled with the images yet but you get the idea; perhaps more interesting is that this one came out of a different barn/hangar to the one that flew the next day.
Not likely they'd put more than one bird in each hangar given the relative size of the building and aircraft in those shots. Air Force likes its ground crews to have plenty of elbow room.
 

quellish

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Moose said:
Not likely they'd put more than one bird in each hangar given the relative size of the building and aircraft in those shots. Air Force likes its ground crews to have plenty of elbow room.

There has been more hangar space available at TTR since other residents moved out. The test support aircraft have gotten more room (RAT-55, F-117s, etc.)
 

Stargazer2006

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quellish said:
The test support aircraft have gotten more room (RAT-55, F-117s, etc.)
What in blazes is a RAT-55 aircraft?? :eek:
 
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