News

F-117 flying again?

Discussion in 'AviatorChat.com' started by alexD, Nov 16, 2010.

  1. furmano

    furmano F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Jul 22, 2004
    19,447
    Colorado
    Full Name:
    furmano
    I remember when F-117's were shown at the Edwards Air Force Base show back in the 90's. After the dynamic display, they parked them in front of the crowd, tail pointed away, roped off, armed guards with M-16's, and signs saying use of deadly force authorized. Cool as ****. :)

    -F
     
  2. Gator

    Gator Karting

    Mar 29, 2006
    92
    Reno, NV
    Full Name:
    Darryl Van Dorn
    I was at Edwards that day also. Very impressive.....no one was going to get to close.
     
  3. BMW.SauberF1Team

    BMW.SauberF1Team F1 World Champ

    Dec 4, 2004
    12,617
    Lol that's hilarious. That happened to me a few years ago at Andrews AFB with the U2 on display.

    After it landed and parked I walked right up to it to take pics. After two photos a guy with gun was very direct to me and said "sir, step away from the airplane." lol

    These are those 2 pics:
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/havblu/20929243354/in/album-72157658774336346/
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/havblu/21540712422/in/album-72157658774336346/

    And this one when I backed away. Lots of guys in the photos with guns.
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/havblu/20930874383/in/album-72157658774336346/
     
  4. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
    Owner Lifetime Rossa

    Jul 19, 2008
    31,548
    Clarksville, Tennessee
    Full Name:
    Terry H Phillips
    The A-12 evolved into both the YF-12 and SR-71, only one of which became operational.
     
  5. furmano

    furmano F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Jul 22, 2004
    19,447
    Colorado
    Full Name:
    furmano
    I think there are photos from that day, maybe an old video on YouTube that shows it. Lot of signs placed around the display with the "Deadly Force Authorized" wording.

    Since the Edwards Air Show came up, the coolest things I've seen flying were seen there. For me that is the SR-71 Blackbird and at the time a recently restored Northrop YB-35 (I think that's the number), a propeller powered flying wing. They flew it around with the B-2 and I was like, whoa!

    -F
     
  6. kevin956

    kevin956 Formula Junior
    Rossa Subscribed

    Jan 26, 2004
    466
    Pasadena, CA
    BMW.SauberF1Team likes this.
  7. BMW.SauberF1Team

    BMW.SauberF1Team F1 World Champ

    Dec 4, 2004
    12,617
  8. furmano

    furmano F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Jul 22, 2004
    19,447
    Colorado
    Full Name:
    furmano
    When the F117's were flying at Edwards, they really did seem kind of unstable. The nickname "wobblin' goblin" seemed apt. Maybe I was just imagining it but during a medium speed, low altitude flyover it would twitch very slightly to the right, twitch back to flat, twitch slightly to the left, twitch back to flat, doing that all down the line. Pretty wild to see.

    I mean, look at the photos above. Does that look aerodynamic to you?!? :D

    -F
     
  9. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
    Owner Lifetime Rossa

    Jul 19, 2008
    31,548
    Clarksville, Tennessee
    Full Name:
    Terry H Phillips
    That name (close enough) came from a Tom Clancy novel and the production F-117A was very stable according to several friends of mine who flew them when they were a SAR program. When we were at Taif, Saudi Arabia during Desert Storm, we would get the occasional F-117A that aborted due to some issue or other. Taif was closer to the front than Khamis Mushait, where the F-117s were based. Some pilots were "stay away from my airplane" while others gave us a tour. Early in the war, our F-111Fs and the F-117As were the only USAF aircraft with PGMs, so we did most of the damage. The F-15Es got a few LANTIRN pods later, along with Paveway II and III LGBs.

    Everybody else called them Cockroaches, for obvious reasons.
     
    FarmerDave and tomkatf like this.
  10. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    26,949
    Austin TX
    Full Name:
    Brian Crall
    Was the flying wing yellow? If so it was one of the proof of concept prototypes that was scaled down much much smaller than the bomber. One of those was restored some years ago and to my knowledge it is the only thing out of that program still around. All the jet and prop flying wing bombers were scrapped in the early 50's to the delight of many conspiracy theorists.
     

    Attached Files:

    NürScud likes this.
  11. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    26,949
    Austin TX
    Full Name:
    Brian Crall
    The one at Wright Patterson is where you can walk under it and run your hands over the skin. I saw it there in 93 so it makes me wonder how long ago all these stories of guarded airplanes on the ramp.
     
  12. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
    Owner Lifetime Rossa

    Jul 19, 2008
    31,548
    Clarksville, Tennessee
    Full Name:
    Terry H Phillips
    The F-117A was a SAR program until just before Desert Shield and Desert Storm started in August 1990 (Nov 1988 declassified). After it came out of the black world, it did airshows, static displays, etc, just like any USAF aircraft. They had some weapon delivery software limitations in Desert Storm, but those were fixed quickly after the war was over. It was retired because it was getting too expensive to maintain, just like the F-111.
     
  13. jcurry

    jcurry F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Jan 16, 2012
    11,539
    Lk Stevens, WA
    Full Name:
    Jim
    Which conspiracy theorists were delighted? I was thinking the opposite, i.e. 'conspiracy theorists' who believed that Northrup was screwed over by politics and the Sec of AF were rather upset.
     
  14. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    26,949
    Austin TX
    Full Name:
    Brian Crall
    Can't have a good conspiracy unless the evidence is destroyed right?

    I have heard all nature of weird stories about them. Harder to feed that if they sat in a museum somewhere. According to Gen Cardenas who I guess did a lot of the test flying they had terrible yaw control and just were not suited to putting a bomb on a target.
     
  15. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    26,949
    Austin TX
    Full Name:
    Brian Crall
    I have heard them blame Gen Vandenberg in grandiose conspiracies and the same people say he committed suicide rather than the official death by cancer and that was all related to Roswell and his connection to it.

    Like I said, destroying the airplanes just feeds the crazy people.
     
  16. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
    Owner Lifetime Rossa

    Jul 19, 2008
    31,548
    Clarksville, Tennessee
    Full Name:
    Terry H Phillips
    Brian- The F-117A had two IR systems with lasers bore-sighted to them, a FLIR and a DLIR (forward-looking and down-looking). Their primary weapon was the GBU-27, a modified version of the proportional guidance Paveway III GBU-24 with shortened fins to fit in the weapons bay and provide a more vertical flight path. They did not drop dumb bombs at all during any war. They could put a 2500 lb GBU-27 down a chimney or hit any other miniscule aimpoint they picked out. The early test birds had different flight control algorithms, but the production versions worked just fine, with no yaw issues. They were probably the most accurate bombers we ever fielded in the USAF because they were so well matched to the FLIR/DLIR and the GBU-27 and nearly all their targets were attacked from overhead with the GBU-27s impacting pretty much vertically. I have known a bunch of F-117A pilots and worked with the team.
     
  17. furmano

    furmano F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Jul 22, 2004
    19,447
    Colorado
    Full Name:
    furmano
    Yes, I think that's it. I remember it being really small, like the size of a transport van. Based on the photos you posted, I think that was it. The story was the engineers from back in the day restored it (this was mid 90's) and the flight at Edwards was the, or one of the first flights after restoration. And during the flight it was paced by the B-2. A pretty incredible sight.

    -F
     
  18. JCR

    JCR F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Mar 14, 2005
    6,571
    H-Town, Tejas
    That is this one. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northrop_N-9M
     
  19. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    26,949
    Austin TX
    Full Name:
    Brian Crall
    I was talking about the flying wing bomber. I know the 117's were pretty successful in their short life.
     
  20. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
    Owner Lifetime Rossa

    Jul 19, 2008
    31,548
    Clarksville, Tennessee
    Full Name:
    Terry H Phillips
    Brian- I see, said the blind man. Yup, the early flying wings did not have dampers or any of the modern flight control helpers to help the pilot from fighting her all the time, especially in yaw.
     
  21. kevin956

    kevin956 Formula Junior
    Rossa Subscribed

    Jan 26, 2004
    466
    Pasadena, CA
  22. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    26,949
    Austin TX
    Full Name:
    Brian Crall
    Pretty cool piece of history. Glad its still around. Jack was pretty proud of the wing.
     
  23. CarbBoxer

    CarbBoxer Formula Junior

    Oct 7, 2008
    782
    Houston
    Full Name:
    PW
    Northrop certainly progressed the flying wing but the Nazi’s Horten Ho 229 was pretty amazing in its advances in the ‘40s.
     
  24. Bob Parks

    Bob Parks F1 Veteran
    Consultant

    Nov 29, 2003
    6,588
    Shoreline,Washington
    Full Name:
    Robert Parks
    The aero guys that I knew at Boeing said that the Northrop wing was beset by pitch oscillations that were typical of a tailless machine where they were constantly nibbling at the stall but were corrected by the reflex airfoil. They were never still in level flight. That alone was a good cause for a bad bombing platform because of the lack of inherent stability. No computer at the time to quell the oscillations.
     
  25. furmano

    furmano F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Jul 22, 2004
    19,447
    Colorado
    Full Name:
    furmano
    It was a pretty remarkable sight. See those photos above of the airplane flying and then imagine a B-2 pacing it as it flies down the flight line. It blew my mind. For some reason I thought it was a "YB" series but that was more than twenty years ago so the details are faded a bit over time.

    -F
     

Share This Page