This Tamiya 1/48 scale model recreates the iconic 1980’s “Skunk Works” F-117A. The Lockheed F-117A Nighthawk is an American single-seat, twin-engine stealth attack aircraft that was developed by Lockheed's secretive “Skunk Works” project division and operated by the United States Air Force (USAF).
The F117A was the first operational aircraft to be designed around stealth technology. Its maiden flight took place in 1981 at Groom Lake, Nevada, and the aircraft achieved initial operating capability status in 1983. There were many rumors of the aircrafts’ existence throughout the 1980’s, but it wasn’t until 1988 that it was revealed to the public with the shroud of secrecy lifted. Of the 64 F-117s built, 59 were production versions, with the other five serving as test prototypes. The Persian Gulf War of 1991 was the conflict in which the Nighthawk is most known for taking part in. Although it was commonly referred to as the "Stealth Fighter", it was strictly a ground-attack aircraft.
While the aircraft was officially retired in April of 2008, a portion of the fleet has been kept and maintained in airworthy condition. As recent as March 2020, some have been seen flying in California’s deserts with a black/white/gray hybrid aggressor-type paint scheme on parts of its underside leading edges, on some of the top surfaces and on parts of the twin fins, rather than the F-117’s traditional overall matt black finish.
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