Photo credit: U.S. Air Force
Business Insider: 15 years after ‘officially’ retiring its first stealth jet, the US Air Force is looking for help to keep the F-117 flying for another decade
* The US Air Force unveiled its new stealth bomber, the B-21 Raider, in December.
* The B-21 is expected to arrive 40 years after the US’s first stealth aircraft, the F-117 Nighthawk.
* The F-117 was officially retired in 2008, but the Air Force is still putting the stealth jet to use.
The fuss about the unveiling of the new B-21 stealth bomber has drawn the aviation world’s attention, but the B-21’s grandfather is still in action.
When it first flew in the early 1980s, the F-117 Nighthawk was the first operational stealth aircraft. The F-117 has been officially retired for about 15 years, but its retirement has been far from sedentary. The Nighthawk is still being used to train US pilots to counter enemy stealth planes and cruise missiles.
The US Air Force is now making plans to keep some of its Nighthawks flying until at least 2034. A US Air Force Request for Information published this past fall sought companies interested in a potential 10-year contract to provide maintenance for the F-117, beginning in 2024.
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WNU Editor: A truly incredible warplane.