This one really hurts my heart to write.

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Photo by Richard Seaman

The last F-117 stealth fighter made its final flight this week to the Tonopah Test Range in Nevada, where it will be kept with all the others in non-flyable storage.

Flight International: F-117’s final formation fling

My fascination with this beautifully bizarre Lockheed bird will never cease. Adapted from the Have Blue prototypes that Lockheed started flying in secret in 1977, the F-117 was the world’s first aircraft to be virtually invisible to enemy (and, for that matter, friendly) radar. Its precision in combat is legendary, and its presence in our skies will be sorely missed.

Photo by Richard Seaman

The cockpit had to be treated with a special coating to keep radar out, because the pilot’s helmet had a larger radar signature than the entire airplane.

How awesome is that?

Possibly the most.

Photo by Richard Seaman

Two more Lockheed birds, the F-22 and the F-35, will take its place, with the F-22 already in service.

Here are a few photos of the F-22 to ease my pain:

Photo by Richard Seaman

Photo by Richard Seaman

Photo by Richard Seaman

The F-22 has more stealth, power, speed, agility, and firepower than the F-117.


Without the F-117, we wouldn’t have planes like the F-22.


Goodbye, old friend.

Photo by Richard Seaman

I’m going to miss you.

A lot.


  1. Bree says:

    Being that I was born in 1981, I was like “OMG DID I DIE?” when I saw the title of this post.

    No, but I do agree, the Stealth was freaking awesome. Went to some airshows as a kid and wanted to fly in one so badly.

  2. Kerstin says:

    Another great aircraft bites the dust. My favorite has been and will always be the A-10 “Warthog”. My dad worked on those planes for a good portion of his military career and they were/are kick ass planes. They keep retiring them and bringing them back. Weird how the military changes their minds so often…..

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