One of the first Lockheed F-117 Nighthawks released for public display at a non-military institution is coming to Kalamazoo's Air Zoo.

This aircraft pioneered stealth technology and was an integral part of the US efforts in the Gulf War in 1991. The F-117 stealth fighter is a truly remarkable aircraft, even if you are not into airplanes or military history. Take a look at the video below, as Jeff Duford, Curator of the National Museum of the US Air Force in Dayton, Ohio, explains how the stealth technology works. He does it in such a simple, understandable way that it is fascinating.

Technically, the stealth aircraft is invisible on radar. This happens by directing energy in different directions, and is accomplished by a combination of the seemingly strange angles of the craft- the jagged edges that give it its unique shape, and radar absorbent material used like paint to cover the outside. Special provisions had to be made for the bomb doors and even the exhaust. In combat, this plane was amazing.

The F-117, it's called a fighter...but it's really an attack aircraft or a bomber aircraft, and it was made to kick in the door. So, if you think about fighting, this aircraft throws the first punch before the enemy even knows it is coming.

-Jeff Duford Curator, National Museum of the US Air Force (Dayton, Ohio)




Have you heard the news? The Air Zoo is going to be the proud recipient of one of the first Lockheed F-117 Nighthawks...

Posted by Air Zoo on Tuesday, July 28, 2020

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