410th Flight Test Squadron Nighthawks in Rare Formation

Four Nighthawks from the 410th FLTS include: #79-10784 "Scorpion 5", #79-10783 "Pete's Dragon", #85-0811 & #85-0831.
Photo: Bobbi Zapka

4/20/2007 - EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, CA -- Four F-117 Nighthawks from the 410th Flight Test Squadron based at USAF Plant #42 Palmdale, fly in formation during a sortie over the Antelope Valley in Southern California.

This flight is rare in that it includes the majority of F-117s assigned to test duty in the fleet. The formation includes from lead to trailing:

#784, which was the 5th Full Scale Development aircraft and named 'Scorpion 5'. This aircraft was once displayed for Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger during a visit to Groom Lake. It was also the second WSCS upgrade test aircraft.

#783 was the 4th Full Scale Development aircraft and named 'Scorpion 4'. This aircraft was also referred to as "Pete's Dragon" while being tested at Groom.

#811 did time in Desert Storm and has spent the majority of it's time in the combat wing.

#831 was the first to receive OCIP upgrades and the third to get the WSCS upgrade. It was also the latest model F-117 to serve as test aircraft.

After 25 years of history, the aircraft is set to retire soon. The last active combat F-117s are due to end service at Holloman AFB sometime in 2008. The F-117 was designed during a special time in aviation history. It will most likely be remembered as one of the most unique aircraft ever created.

Source: USAF Edwards AFB Press Release / TNS

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