Uncharacteristic camouflage of an attack aircraft: the United States celebrates the 40th anniversary of the first flight of the F-117
The United States celebrates the 40th anniversary of the first flight of the aircraft, which at one time made a real sensation. This is the F-117, which eventually implemented stealth technology. For the first time he took off on 18 (June 19 - Moscow time) 1981. At the same time, the first color of this striking agent aviation had, as they say in the US Air Force itself, "pastel colors that are not characteristic of American combat aircraft." Light brown, light green and brownish paints with their shades were applied to the surface of the aircraft. In this case, the main part of the surface was gray.
At the time of the first flight, the aircraft had the symbol YF-117 as a combat unit under development and testing with serial number 79-10780.
Flight tests of the YF-117 were carried out in total secrecy. For its first flight, the so-called Zone 51 was chosen. Some participants in the program note that the calculation was made on the basis that in the event that an aircraft was detected by enemy control facilities, it would be possible to refer to "the appearance of a UFO over the state of Nevada."
The US press is commenting on why the above mentioned color scheme was used during the first flight of the F-117. The following is reported:
The “pastel-colored” camouflage option was used for ten flights of the American F-117 strike aircraft. Over time, the aircraft received a more typical gray color for the US Air Force.
During the first tests of the F-117 in 1981, problems with the tail unit were identified. It turned out that the plumage used does not provide the necessary stability of the aircraft in flight. Therefore, in the end, the aircraft received larger tail elements.
This aircraft was produced in a serial version until 1990. A total of 64 units of the F-117 were produced. By 2008, they were withdrawn from service by the US Air Force due to the increase in the number of F-22 fighters. However, a few years ago, they began to be seen again in the skies over American test sites. At the same time, the Pentagon does not comment on the purpose for which the F-117 is lifted into the air after the official procedure of "sending to a well-deserved rest."
For your information:
In 1999, the United States lost one F-117 in the skies over Serbia as a result of the use of Soviet-made C-125 air defense systems. Another one was damaged by a missile of the same air defense complex.
- US Air Force
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